Games and Competition
Stage in Abu Dhabi at the Abu Dhabi 2019 World Games; audience on either side of a lit stage.
Every day and all around the world, our athletes train and strive to achieve their very best. During World Games, the entire Special Olympics movement comes together to see our athletes in action and celebrate their victories over huge odds. No other event in the world has the social and emotional impact of the Special Olympics World Games. For the athletes and their families, the experience opens doors to unimagined possibilities. For volunteers, coaches, and other supporters from all parts of the world, the Games inspire hope and belief in a brighter future of global acceptance, understanding, and unity.
Athlete lifting weights on his shoulders. A spotter on either side and behind him.
On any given day, Special Olympics athletes are competing all around the world in 32 Olympic-type sports.
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Two athletes swimming in a race.
During World Games, the Special Olympics movement comes together to see our athletes in action.
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A woman's volleyball team all holding the ball for a group picture.
Are you an aspiring athlete, Unified Partner, volunteer or coach? With over 100,000 Special Olympics competitions each year, there are many opportunities for you to get involved.
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Stories about World Games
Melissa on stage with a medal draped around her neck speaking at SOMA's 50th Anniversary in 2018.
Melissa Reilly has never let her disability determine what she can and cannot do. Born with Down syndrome, Reilly defies stereotypes every day through sport, leadership and employment, exemplifying the value people with intellectual disabilities bring to all facets of life.
5 Min Read
Four athletes in the foreground with text behind them that reads: Heja Sverigelaget! with an illustration of the Swedish National Flag.
A new Swedish TV show, Heja Sverigelaget! (Go, Team Sweden!), which follows the journey of four Special Olympics athletes to World Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi, has captured the imagination of the Swedish public!
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A split screen image of Ben Collins and Dr. Andreas Heinecke during a Zoom meeting.
Special Olympics Operations Specialist Ben Collins Talks with Dr. Andreas Heinecke, founder of Dialogue in the Dark, on World Sight Day 2020
2 Min Read