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Community Impact

FIS and Special Olympics Expand Partnership

Special Olympics athlete wearing blue ski gear skis down a hill during an alpine skiing competition.
World Games 2017, Austria, Alpine skiing.

The International Ski Federation (FIS) and Special Olympics (SOI) are joining forces to engage athletes with and without intellectual disabilities by improving access to quality snow sport experiences. The organizations will collaborate to expand participation and engagement in alpine skiing, cross country skiing and snowboarding around the world. The position of FIS is that snow sports are for all, which is reflected in the Bring Children to the Snow campaign with events taking place in over 50 countries around the world, more than 5 million participants and increased access to snow sports. Now FIS and Special Olympics will increase access to snow sports for all through a new partnership.

“Special Olympics and FIS share a common belief that sports can create a more inclusive world for athletes of all abilities. Special Olympics welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with FIS to make more high-quality, inclusive snow sport training and competition opportunities available to athletes with intellectual disabilities.”
Jon-Paul St. Germain, Senior Director of Sport Development for Special Olympics International

Together, the FIS and Special Olympics partnership will focus on the following areas:

  • Promotion and activation of global snow sport moments such as World Snow Day and Snow Kidz.
  • Dedicated event plans and consultation for organizers wishing to host events and actions to introduce athletes with intellectual disabilities to snow sports.
  • The creation of a guide for coaches and instructors on how to teach athletes with intellectual disabilities snow sports. The guide will also be translated into multiple languages.

FIS Bring Children to the Snow Coordinator Andrew Cholinski added, “We have seen World Snow Day and SnowKidz events for youth and children with intellectual disabilities before but this partnership will bring the number of these events up.”

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