Special Olympics Puerto Rico swimmer Jose Cubilette competes in the 2012 Special Olympics World Aquatics Invitiational in Puerto Rico. Photo by Will Schermerhorn.

Special Olympics swimming is popular world wide. Stay up to date with swimming news, events and competition results on this page. You'll find links to coaching resources, too. It's all here.

00x200 Unified Sports Aquatics

Get an overview of the sport of Special Olympics swimming.  View the Aquatics Fact Sheet

Swimming is one of the most popular sports in world. Unlike other sports, swimming is a life skill that is taught, first, to ensure safety and, secondly, for sports and competition purposes. Aquatics covers a great variety of swimming skills, from short sprints to longer events and relays. And the Aquatics coaching guide (below) gives coaches advice and approaches to successfully coach swimmers of all abilities, from strong, fast competitors to swimmers who find it hard to swim at all.

Open Water Swimming
Special Olympics has a growing number of athletes around the world taking part in open water swimming, a sport in which swimmers race in bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and oceans instead of pools.  Read the coaching guide and see stories and upcoming events by visiting the Open Water Swimming page.

Partnership with the Michael Phelps Foundation
Special Olympics has a partnership with the Michael Phelps Foundation and has appointed the international swimming legend as a Special Olympics Global Ambassador. The Michael Phelps Foundation will expand its signature “IM” with Special Olympics that will bring water safety, recreational aquatic activities, and health, wellness and goal-setting instruction to Special Olympic athletes across the world.

Swimming Stories and News

September 20, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Belgium

Special Olympics, a love story: Gitte en Dries

By Emilie Bruynbroeck

Among many athletes who are competing at the Special Olympics, we found Gitte Van De Poel and Dries Vangeel.View Story Among many athletes who are competing at the Special Olympics, we found Gitte Van De Poel and Dries Vangeel. These two Belgian athletes have found each other and are together since the 3th of August. They've known each other since primary school. Gitte only lives a few houses away from Dries. “It means a lot for us to be able to participate here together. We support each other through thick and thin,” Dries says. “We brought our cell phones to the Games so we can tell each other about our performances.” Gitte will be participating in the aquatics competition, while Dries will be competing in the badminton competition. In the near future Dries also wants to make the swimming team for the next Special Olympics games. That way he can spend even more time with his girlfriend. Dries puts all his efforts in making Gitte proud of him. He wants to go to the World Summer Games one day. In order to achieve his dream he trains four hours per week.

About Emilie Bruynbroeck:I am a volunteer contributor at the media desk in Antwerp Expo. I study journalism.
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September 20, 2014 | North America: Ohio

Heading to Ohio State Meet in 2014 Winter

By David Tripathy

David Tripathy 14 has all 3 gold medals in M.E. Lyons YMCA.

What happens when you are going to be a star at the Columbus in a State swim meet of Team Ohio and you have a communication disorder? Only one boy who is a gold medalist can answer that question.View Story What happens when you are going to be a star at the Columbus in a State swim meet of Team Ohio and you have a communication disorder? Only one boy who is a gold medalist can answer that question. The Cincinnati Bullet, David Tripathy, qualified for the meet in Princeton High school and M.E. Lyons YMCA. There's something wonderful happening about his life. He got 17 gold medals and 2 silver at Hamilton County Special Olympics swim meets. Which is in Cincinnati, Ohio. When David put those medals all together he had 19 Hamilton County Special Olympics medals in all. When he was practicing at his school, Indian Hill High School, David was looking for school records and best times. His all stroke in School meet did not go so well last winter. However in all of his events, he got personal best to beat his own time. At the end of Winter season he so happy. When he was 12, David swam doggy paddle at I.H. Swim Club in hot season. When he was 13, he was ready.

About David Tripathy:I love People, I love video Games, I want to compete in USA Special Olympics Team. I love the Cincinnati Bengals, I love the Cincinnati Reds, I'm a senior in school, I got Straight A's in my report card, I have goals for practices and trainings and meets, I have a girlfriend, and I love my family.
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September 19, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Belgium

Special Olympics mean everything to Pieter

By Emilie Bruynbroeck

Pieter Schram

Special Olympics mean a lot to Belgian swimmer Pieter Schram, one of the Belgian ambassadors. Pieter, 17, has autism and has had a rough time at school as well as at home.View Story Special Olympics mean a lot to Belgian swimmer Pieter Schram, one of the Belgian ambassadors. Pieter, 17, has autism and has had a rough time at school as well as at home. He found it hard to structure his life. That is why he was always very fidgety and too shy to make some friends. Swimming has helped him to create some structure as a result of wich he is much more at ease and he can cope with his environment more easily.Pieter is very grateful towards his coach, his school and Special Olympics for giving him this opportunity. The motivation he felt after he qualified has given his self-confidence a real boost.Today he swam the selection round of 25 meters freestyle. At the starting shot, Pieter burst into the water in lane five. He could conquer pole position immediately and didn’t give it away anymore. Evidently he cried a cheer of joy with a time of 17.4 seconds. A time with which he has a big shot on a gold medal.

About Emilie Bruynbroeck:I am a volunteer contributor at the media desk in Antwerp Expo. I study journalism.
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Aquatics Events




Oct 10 - 12 2014

Special Olympics Bangladesh National Games

Special Olympics Bangladesh’s National Games will welcome an estimated 800 athletes and 100 Unified Sports® partners across Bangladesh. Ten sports will be played: athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, cricket, football, handball, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. The three day event will be held across different venues: Bangabandhu National Stadium, Army Stadium, National Indoor Stadium & Swimming pool and the Bangladesh Sports Education Institute (BKSP).
For more information
Faruqul Islam
Phone:+880 1819 259844
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Bangabandhu National Stadium & other venuesDhaka

October 20, 2014

Special Olympics National Games 2014 Melbourne

The 10th Special Olympics Australia National Games will involve more than 1,200 athletes of all levels competing in 16 Olympic and demonstration sports and events. These Games offer the opportunity for athletes to be selected to represent Australia at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015. For the majority of competitors, the National Games in Melbourne represents the culmination of four years of competing at local, regional and state level. Competing in the same world-class venues as their Olympic heroes, our Special Olympics athletes will perform in front of their proud parents, friends, supporters and the wider community. Athletes of all abilities will compete in 16 Olympic style sports including AFL and netball as demonstration sports across iconic sporting venues in Melbourne. Other special events include: Healthy Athletes Program, Young Athlete Program (2–7 year old), Athlete Leadership & Ambassador Program, Family Functions Social Outing, Law Enforcement Torch Run, Opening and Closing Ceremonies
For more information
More Details
Robyn Cooper
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Lakeside Stadium & various venuesMelbourne

Nov 1 - 3 2014

Special Olympics Nippon National Summer Games Fukuoka 2014

Athletes from all over Japan will come to the city of Fukuoka for the 2014 Special Olympics Fukuoka Games to participate in 3 days of competition in 12 sports. Athletes will compete in aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, bowling, football, golf, gymnastics, table tennis, volleyball and equestrian.
For more information
More Details
Sayaka Sonobe
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Multiple locations, Fukuoka
Fukuoka , Kyushu

Jun 5 - 7 2015

2015 Maryland Summer Games

Join us 5-7 June 2015 at Towson University in Towson, Maryland as our athletes compete in 3 days of exciting summer sports competition. Events will include: Aquatics – traditional individual events and team relays, Unified team relays; Athletics – traditional and Unified track, mini-javelin, high jump, long jump, pentathlon, softball throw, shot put, standing long jump, tennis ball throw; Bocce – singles, doubles, Unified doubles; Cheerleading – traditional and Unified team competition; Softball – traditional team competition, Unified team competition, individual skills competition. For schedule details please refer to the link, below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
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Towson University
8000 York Ave

Towson, Maryland

Jul 24 - Aug 2 2015

World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015

In July of 2015 more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will come to Los Angeles, California for the Special Olympics World Summer Games and enjoy 10 days full of joy, friendship and competition. Athletes will compete in 22 sports. The event expects to attract 500,000 spectators and 30,000 volunteers and 3,000 coaches.
For more information
More Details
World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015
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Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California

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Aquatics/Swimming Competitions

2014 European Summer Games

2014 Canada Summer Games

The Special Olympics 2014 Canada Summer Games was the largest Canadian Games ever. See results and teams.

2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.

2014 Southern California Summer Invitational Games

Special Olympics athletes from Southern California and from around the world competed in Los Angeles. See results and teams.

2013 Asia Pacific Games

Athletes from 30 Asia Pacific and East Asia regions compete in the inaugural Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games. Get schedules and results.

World Aquatics Invitational 2012

The first Special Olympics World Aquatics Invitational took place in September in San Juan, Puerto Rico. See results from the competition.

2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.

How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.


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