28 April 2023 - In 50 days, Berlin will host the world's largest inclusive sports event with 7,000 athletes from 190 delegations. The biggest multi-sport event in Germany since the 1972 Olympic Games, will kick off with the opening ceremony on June 17 in Berlin's Olympic Stadium.
"In 2018, we were awarded the bid to host the World Games, and now the time has come. In 50 days the Special Olympics World Games will open in Berlin's Olympic Stadium. We have been working together with an unbelievable and committed team and many supporters from politics, business, and the community to prepare unforgettable Games for Germany and the world—but above all, for the athletes. I am looking forward to a great World Games with many moving moments. Also, I look forward to using the power of sport to set a visible example for inclusion in society and to promote equal participation for people with intellectual disabilities at all levels."
"Are You Ready" - Madcon presents the official Games song
"Are You Ready" is the official song of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 by the Norwegian duo Madcon. They composed the song, especially for the World Games—an emotional melody that gives energy, stays in your head, and motivates athletes for the World Games.
"We are incredibly proud to announce that Madcon will musically represent the Special Olympics World Games of Berlin. We are honored and very much looking forward to the adventure together with such a great organization. The title of the song is "Are you ready" which is essentially about seizing the moment. It's about recognizing opportunities to show yourself to the world—because in the end, we are only our true selves when we rise to the occasion. When everything you've worked for comes down to this one moment, and your entire focus is solely on this moment in your life. Right now. Are you ready? We certainly are."
Spectacular opening ceremony on June 17 in Olympic Stadium Berlin
Alongside the live performance of the Games song by Madcon, 350 musicians, performing, and visual artists from around the world will present an inclusive show together with Special Olympics athletes.
"It will be a kaleidoscope, a gigantic and magnificent colorful show celebrating the inclusion of people with disabilities."
The German Dance Association (DTV), with some 700 dancers from all over Germany, will perform the choreography of the Games song "Are You Ready" in the Olympic Stadium alongside all spectators, guests, athletes, and delegations. Furthermore, Unity, the mascot of the World Games, will perform, as well as the Blue Man Group Berlin.
Speakers from politics and society
As patron of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will open the World Games. While the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz together with Christiane Krajewski, President of Special Olympics Germany, will welcome more than 50,000 spectators from all over the world. Timothy Shriver, chairman of the worldwide Special Olympics movement, will receive the 7,000 athletes under the motto #UnbeatableTogether.
For the grand finale—and thus the opening of the world's largest inclusive sports event—dazzling fireworks are planned over the Olympic Stadium and the sky in Berlin.
About Special Olympics
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Unified Sports partners and one million coaches and volunteers in over 200 accredited Programs, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedInand our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.