Open Water Swimming Sport Center

This page draws together open water swimming-related information for all of Special Olympics. The coaching materials and other links will help you get a good sense of how this sport contributes to Special Olympics.

In the Natural Elements

Open water swimming debuted at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece as a demonstration sport. Open water swimming involves swimming in rivers, lakes, seas or the ocean, where deep water, lack of lane markings, waves, currents, wind and other natural elements test the swimmer. Find more resources, stories and upcoming events related to swimming in general by visiting the Swimming page.

About This Page

Special Olympics focuses on the individuality of each athlete so that coaches can train and encourage growth in skills and accomplishment. The coaching materials, rules and other resources on this page have been specially prepared for coaches working with people with intellectual disabilities. Coaching Special Olympics athletes calls for the same skills and experience that many coaches are familiar with. The extra information in our coaching guides about working with people with ID is what makes our materials helpful and valuable.

Open Water Swimming Info

General Coaching Info

Sport Essentials


Upcoming Open Water Swimming Events