Help Us Unite and Change The Game

Join our athletes from across the world to build inclusive, unified communities.

  • Competition on Snow, Ice and Court

    The Special Olympics World Winter Games are happening now through 25 March in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria.

    Photo by Alexandra Luef

  • Competition on Snow, Ice and Court

    The Special Olympics World Winter Games are happening now through 25 March in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria.

    Photo by Alexandra Luef

  • Competition on Snow, Ice and Court

    The Special Olympics World Winter Games are happening now through 25 March in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria.

    Photo by Special Olympics

  • Competition on Snow, Ice and Court

    The Special Olympics World Winter Games are happening now through 25 March in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria.

    Photo by T. Vincetic

  • Competition on Snow, Ice and Court

    The Special Olympics World Winter Games are happening now through 25 March in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria.

    Photo by Mario Buehner

2017 World Winter Games in Austria

The largest sports and humanitarian event in the world this year is happening now: the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau, Austria. The Games began with Host Town events on 14 March and continue through 25 March.

The World Winter Games Return to Austria

Special Olympics has many thousands of competitions around the world every year. Our athletes train in 30-plus sports in 169 countries. Every two years, there's a World Games competition that shows off the best our movement has to offer. For many of our athletes, attending a World Games is the dream of a lifetime.

For almost 2,700 Special Olympics athletes, that dream is coming true at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

The athletes have trained in their 107 home countries. Coaches have guided their practices. Family and friends have cheered for them. 

This month, they traveled to the mountains of Austria. About 1,000 coaches came with them. Our athletes are skiing, skating, snowboarding, snowshoeing, shooting balls and shooting pucks to see who will win the gold--and who will not. 

These World Games mark a return: In 1993, Austria hosted the very first Special Olympics World Winter Games held outside the U.S. (Learn more about how the first World Games in Austria happened.)

A lot has changed since those 1993 Games. This time, an even larger worldwide audience is getting the chance to see many moments from the Games. ESPN is broadcasting stories and events during the 2017 Games in Austria.

 

Moments from Austria 2017

A week of special moments and tough winter sport competition in Austria.
  • Alpine skiing during the World Winter Games was at Rohrmoos. In the distance is the mountain called Dachstein. In the valley below is the city of Schladming.
  • Singer Jason Mraz posed with members of the USA delegation. Mraz was set to perform at the Opening Ceremony on 18 March.
  • Usama Aziz (258) celebrates his race in the 50m cross country skiing preliminaries with his team.
  • Semen Fedotov of Special Olympics Russia. Preliminary rounds of all sports started 17 March. These rounds lead to divisions that make competitions exciting for all.
  • Special Olympics athletes and coaches from around the world passed through airports and train stations to reach Schladming and Graz.
  • Members of the Special Olympics Germany delegation took part in a candle walk as part of the Host Town program.
  • Hans-Jürgen Glenz (center) will compete in stick shooting for Special Olympics Germany. In the Host Town program, Special Olympics athletes from around the world visit and stay in Austrian communities.
  • David Bocek of Slovakia greeted a photographer in Graz. Several delegations toured and walked around the city as part of their Host Town experience.
  • Members of the Special Olympics Bharat (India) delegation went on a 2-hour tour of the city of Graz. They thanked their tour guide, Gerhard Berger, by clasping their hands and saying, "Namaste."
  • Members of the team from Special Olympics Saudi Arabia walked through Graz after visiting a cafe to rest.
  • Members of the Special Olympics Argentina delegation boarded a tram near the city center.
  • The delegation from Special Olympics Azerbaijan posed in the city center of Graz.
  • Athletes and coaches from Special Olympics Norway in Rittisberg.
  • Jason Donovan (right) and Tomas Loftus from Special Olympics New Zealand during warm up before a games day in Ramsau Rittisberg.
  • Special Olympics athletes and coaches from around the world passed through airports and train stations to reach Schladming and Graz.
  • Athletes Ella Sharples and Jason Donovan of the New Zealand Special Olympics team in front of the Rasthaus in Schladming.
  • A snowy mountain is behind them. Members of Special Olympics Team Germany ride a horse sled in Ramsau Rittisberg.
  • Dag S Ryen from Special Olympics Norway.
  • Figure skater Jennifer Lee, blue jacket at right, checks the bag that contains her skates. All the bags are from the Special Olympics Great Britain team.
  • Special Olympics Sports Director Adnan Mubarak Khalfan Al Awidi was grabbing luggage with flair. The team had just arrived in Austria at the airport near Graz.

2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games

Tue Mar 14 - Sat Mar 25, 2017
 

The 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games will be held in Austria in three primary locations: in Graz (the second largest city in Austria and capital of the Styria region), Schladming (host city of the Alpine Skiing World Championships in 1982 and 2013) and Ramsau (host city of the Nordic Skiing World Championships in 1999).


Contact information
Venue(s)
Opening Ceremony
Planai-Hochwurzen-Bahnen
Coburgstraße 52
Schladming
Austria
Team Competitions
Stadthalle Graz
Messeplatz 1
Graz
Austria
Competitions in floorball, floor hockey and stick shooting will be held on the first floor of Stadthalle Graz.
Show all Venues
Unified Floorball: Players with and without intellectual disabilities team up for a game in Graz, Austria. The World Games in Austria will feature Unified floor hockey, floorball, ice dancing and ice pairs.

2017 Winter Games Sports

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Figure Skating
  • Floor Hockey
  • Floorball
  • Short Track Speed Skating
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Stick Shooting

The competitions are being held in three places in Austria. Figure skating, speed skating, floorball, floor hockey and stick shooting are being held in Graz. Cross country skiing are being held in Ramsau. Alpine skiing and snowboarding are being held in Schladming.