The Special Olympics World Games offer the opportunity to unite the world like no other event can. Here people with and without disabilities, people of different nations, cultures, political views and religions meet and can overcome existing prejudices with the power of sport. Berlin is paving the way for diversity, for freedom and is home to people from all over the world.
From 17 – 25 June 2023, Berlin, Germany will welcome 7,000 Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners from approximately 170 countries to compete in 24 sports. The athletes will be supported by more than 3,000 coaches and 20,000 volunteers.
Many renowned sports facilities in Berlin will provide state-of-the-art competition venues for the athletes, including the Event Center in the Messe Berlin (Convention Center), the Max-Schmeling-Halle sports facilities, the Sportforum and the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark, and the Brandenburg Gate. The Opening Ceremony of the 2023 World Games will take place in the Berlin Olympic Stadium.
The motto of the athletes of Special Olympics Germany is: “Nothing about us without us having a say.”
The 2023 World Games will be a global demonstration of inclusion, with Special Olympics athletes involved in every facet of the games, from design to delivery. During the preparation of the bid to host the World Games, more than 4,500 athletes shared their opinions on the vision for the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
Additionally, a National Athletes Council has been formed, made up of athlete leaders from all 14 sub-programs of Special Olympics Germany. The Athletes Council will be involved in all fundamental decisions relating to the World Games and will influence the design of the Games. They have been assigned to each functional area of the Games to ensure a truly athlete-led and athlete-focused experience. These World Games will set a new standard for inclusive leadership and display the extraordinary outcomes that are possible when we choose to include.
In Berlin, athletes will compete in the following 24 sports:
Open Water Swimming