Special Olympics Puerto Rico swimmer Jose Cubilette competes in the 2012 Special Olympics World Aquatics Invitiational in Puerto Rico. Photo by Will Schermerhorn.

Special Olympics swimming is popular world wide. Stay up to date with swimming news, events and competition results on this page. You'll find links to coaching resources, too. It's all here.

00x200 Unified Sports Aquatics

Get an overview of the sport of Special Olympics swimming.  View the Aquatics Fact Sheet

Swimming is one of the most popular sports in world. Unlike other sports, swimming is a life skill that is taught, first, to ensure safety and, secondly, for sports and competition purposes. Aquatics covers a great variety of swimming skills, from short sprints to longer events and relays. And the Aquatics coaching guide (below) gives coaches advice and approaches to successfully coach swimmers of all abilities, from strong, fast competitors to swimmers who find it hard to swim at all.

Open Water Swimming
Special Olympics has a growing number of athletes around the world taking part in open water swimming, a sport in which swimmers race in bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and oceans instead of pools.  Read the coaching guide and see stories and upcoming events by visiting the Open Water Swimming page.

Partnership with the Michael Phelps Foundation
Special Olympics has a partnership with the Michael Phelps Foundation and has appointed the international swimming legend as a Special Olympics Global Ambassador. The Michael Phelps Foundation will expand its signature “IM” with Special Olympics that will bring water safety, recreational aquatic activities, and health, wellness and goal-setting instruction to Special Olympic athletes across the world.

Swimming Stories and News

July 17, 2014 | North America: Connecticut

30+ years with Special Olympics


Kristen Zaleski, Milford Operation Mainstream (CT) with Eunice Shriver, CT Summer Games, 1989

Our family has been involved with Special Olympics since the early 80's. Kristen started out in track and field, switched to aquatics around '94.View Story Our family has been involved with Special Olympics since the early 80's. Kristen started out in track and field, switched to aquatics around '94. I began coaching soon after, am now lifetime certified aquatics coach. Kris also curls with the Connecticut program since its inception 5 years ago, and is a full member at the Nutmeg Curling Club in regular league play.

About LARRY ZALESKI:I am a special parent, certified aquatics coach, local coordinator in the Milford CT program.
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July 07, 2014 | North America: North Carolina

Strokes and Stitches- Special Olympics Athlete is a Multi-tasker

By Madeline Weathers

With packed bleachers all around her, one Special Olympics athlete worked quietly and diligently on her cross-stitch at the annual Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games.View Story Bleachers packed as can be with excited, enthusiastic athletes ready to fight for the gold is a sight one can expect to see inside the Triangle Aquatics Center at the annual Special Olympics NC Summer Games. But at this year’s competition, while the cheers grew louder and louder, one Special Olympics athlete worked quietly and diligently on her cross-stitch. Thirty-two year-old Meredith Lamy from Forsyth County is a swimmer who is quite the multi-tasker, Meredith spent her time between events working on needle point, and socializing with everyone around her. Her ability to engage in such a precise and intricate hobby, and converse with other athletes while still paying attention to the competition was very impressive.

About Madeline Weathers:I am the Special Olympics North Carolina communications intern.
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July 03, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Bharat (India)

My special son Gods gift

By Anju Srivastava

My son Harsh Srivastava, a child with autism from Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) has won a silver medal in Special Olympics in the Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle, Australia and won many medals at the National level (Athletics and Swimming games).View Story My son Harsh Srivastava, a child with autism from Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) has won a silver medal in Special Olympics in the Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle, Australia and won many medals at the National level (Athletics and Swimming games). I had 3 months of child and mother training in New Delhi by which I can able to understand and help my child in daily life and in sports. He is interested in studies, sports, fond of food and traveling internationally. I didn't know he is a master in computer and cell phone. Even I don't know the functions of computer and cell phone. He would like to have big cars and having his own choice of clothes, furnishing items, car, mobile etc. He is fond of eating different types of Vegetarian food.

About Anju Srivastava:I am a house wife and having two children and my husband is working in public sector in Bangalore.I am a post graduate in Commerce and after knowing that my son is autistic I left the private job and started for the well being of my son.
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Aquatics Events




August 01, 2014

Special Olympics Costa Rica National Swimming Competion

Join us on August 1st at the CODEA Recreation Center in Alajuela, Costa Rica as athletes participate in an exciting day of swimming competition. For more details, please refer to contact information below.
For more information
Wady Wado
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CODEA Recreation Center
Alajuela, San José

August 18, 2014

Special Olympics Thailand National Games

Athletes across Thailand will gather in Korat to compete in the following eight sports: athletics, bocce (including Unified), basketball, badminton, cricket, football (Male & Female, Unified), swimming and table tennis (including Unified).
For more information
Rachaniwan Bulakul
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Pansa Stadium
Chalerm Phrakiat 80

Korat, Nakhon Ratchasima

August 25, 2014

El Salvador National Games

Join us August 25-30 in San Salvador, El Salvador as athletes and Unified partners from around the country will compete in football, open water swimming, aquatics and table tennis to qualify for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles, California. For more details, please refer to contact information below.
For more information
Johamy Alabi
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San Salvador

Sep 9 - 21 2014

2014 Special Olympics European/Eurasian Summer Games

In September 2014 more than 2,000 athletes from 58 countries will come to Antwerp, Belgium for the 2014 Special Olympics European/Eurasian Summer Games and enjoy 13 days full of joy and friendship. The athletes will compete in 10 sports and be invited to join 5 supporting programs.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics European Games 2014
Phone:+32 3 220 25 00
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Various locations, AntwerpAntwerp

Oct 10 - 12 2014

Special Olympics Bangladesh National Games

Special Olympics Bangladesh’s National Games will welcome an estimated 800 athletes and 100 Unified Sports® partners across Bangladesh. Ten sports will be played: athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, cricket, football, handball, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. The three day event will be held across different venues: Bangabandhu National Stadium, Army Stadium, National Indoor Stadium & Swimming pool and the Bangladesh Sports Education Institute (BKSP).
For more information
Faruqul Islam
Phone:+880 1819 259844
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Bangabandhu National Stadium & other venuesDhaka

October 20, 2014

Special Olympics National Games 2014 Melbourne

The 10th Special Olympics Australia National Games will involve more than 1,200 athletes of all levels competing in 16 Olympic and demonstration sports and events. These Games offer the opportunity for athletes to be selected to represent Australia at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015. For the majority of competitors, the National Games in Melbourne represents the culmination of four years of competing at local, regional and state level. Competing in the same world-class venues as their Olympic heroes, our Special Olympics athletes will perform in front of their proud parents, friends, supporters and the wider community. Athletes of all abilities will compete in 16 Olympic style sports including AFL and netball as demonstration sports across iconic sporting venues in Melbourne. Other special events include: Healthy Athletes Program, Young Athlete Program (2–7 year old), Athlete Leadership & Ambassador Program, Family Functions Social Outing, Law Enforcement Torch Run, Opening and Closing Ceremonies
For more information
More Details
Robyn Cooper
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Lakeside Stadium & various venuesMelbourne

Nov 1 - 3 2014

Special Olympics Nippon National Summer Games Fukuoka 2014

Athletes from all over Japan will come to the city of Fukuoka for the 2014 Special Olympics Fukuoka Games to participate in 3 days of competition in 12 sports. Athletes will compete in aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, bowling, football, golf, gymnastics, table tennis, volleyball and equestrian.
For more information
More Details
Sayaka Sonobe
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Multiple locations, Fukuoka
Fukuoka , Kyushu

Jul 24 - Aug 2 2015

World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015

In July of 2015 more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will come to Los Angeles, California for the Special Olympics World Summer Games and enjoy 10 days full of joy, friendship and competition. Athletes will compete in 22 sports. The event expects to attract 500,000 spectators and 30,000 volunteers and 3,000 coaches.
For more information
More Details
World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015
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Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California

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Aquatics/Swimming Competitions

2014 Canada Summer Games

The Special Olympics 2014 Canada Summer Games was the largest Canadian Games ever. See results and teams.

2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.

2014 Southern California Summer Invitational Games

Special Olympics athletes from Southern California and from around the world competed in Los Angeles. See results and teams.

2013 Asia Pacific Games

Athletes from 30 Asia Pacific and East Asia regions compete in the inaugural Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games. Get schedules and results.

World Aquatics Invitational 2012

The first Special Olympics World Aquatics Invitational took place in September in San Juan, Puerto Rico. See results from the competition.

2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.

How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.


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