Sweden selected to host the 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games

WASHINGTON, DC – December 17, 2018: Sweden has been granted the opportunity to host Special Olympics’ flagship sporting event, the World Winter Games in 2021.

We are proud that Sweden will host the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2021. For us the Games is an investment in sport and health for people with intellectual disabilities—and an important platform to raise awareness, get people involved, and spread knowledge about Special Olympics.
Johan Strid, National Director, Special Olympics Sweden

The Special Olympics World Games is one of the largest sporting events on the planet, and inspires, promotes and advances a world of full inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. Taking place every two years and alternating between Summer and Winter Games, the World Games are broadcast globally in more than 150 countries attracting more than 2,500 journalists.

The 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Sweden are expected to host 2,000 athletes and Unified Sports Partners from 105 nations who will participate in nine various sport disciplines. Unified Sports is an inclusive sports program that combines an equal number of individuals with intellectual disabilities and individuals without intellectual disabilities. They will be joined by more than 3,000 volunteers as well as 5,000 family members.

A signature aspect of the Swedish bid was its focus on investment in public health for people with intellectual disabilities. Other features of the bid were a drive for more people with and without intellectual disabilities in organized sports; more people with intellectual disabilities active in sports at school; changing attitudes about people with intellectual disabilities; and an increased knowledge in society about people with intellectual disabilities and the way they are treated.

Well done Sweden. The 2021 World Winter Games not only represent the best in inclusive sports but also are a compelling ‘snapshot’ of the fully inclusive world we want to create—where discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities has completely ended and has been replaced by freedom, justice and equality for all.
Dr. Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics

As Sweden celebrates the winning bid, the final countdown to the 2019 Special Olympics World Games has begun. The Games will take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 14–21, 2019.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Revolution is Inclusion

Special Olympics’ 50th anniversary year. As part of the celebration, the organization is challenging people across the globe to join its “Revolution is Inclusion” campaign—an all-out effort to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. Led by Special Olympics athletes, the organization launched the campaign because despite progress, exclusion is still real for millions of people with intellectual disabilities in every aspect of their lives. The good news is: when the world chooses to include, #choosetoinclude, everything changes in a positive way for everyone. The public can show their support by taking the Inclusion Pledge at JoinTheRevolution.org.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 6 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in more than 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including Bank of America, the Christmas Records Trust, The Coca-Cola Company, ESPN, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Microsoft, Safilo Group, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, TOYOTA, United Airlines, and The Walt Disney Company. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.

Contact

Theresa Fitzpatrick
Special Olympics
P: (202) 824-0329
tfitzpatrick@specialolympics.org