•  Two men running on snowshoes

    Competition on Snow, Ice and Court

    In March 2017, Special Olympics athletes from 105 countries around the world competed in winter sports in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria.

    Photo by Alexandra Luef

  • three people going after the ball and the one in red defending the goal

    Competition on Snow, Ice and Court

    In March 2017, Special Olympics athletes from 105 countries around the world competed in winter sports in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria.

    Photo by Alexandra Luef

  • a person skiing down and going around the sign

    Competition on Snow, Ice and Court

    In March 2017, Special Olympics athletes from 105 countries around the world competed in winter sports in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria. 

    Photo by Special Olympics

  • a person skating with her arms out

    Competition on Snow, Ice and Court

    In March 2017, Special Olympics athletes from 105 countries around the world competed in winter sports in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria.

    Photo by T. Vincetic

  • three guys in green and one in her going after the puck

    Competition on Snow, Ice and Court

    In March 2017, Special Olympics athletes from 105 countries around the world competed in winter sports in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau in Austria.

    Photo by Mario Buehner

2017 World Winter Games

The Special Olympics World Winter Games were the largest sports and humanitarian event in the world this year. The World Games happened from 14-25 March in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau, Austria.

Austria Hosted Our Biggest and Best World Winter Games

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 came true at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. A worldwide audience got the chance to see the many moments from the Games. ESPN broadcast stories and events showcasing all the brave athletes as they competed in Austria.

 

Moments from Austria 2017

A week of special moments and tough winter sport competition in Austria.
  • A landscape view with snowcapped mountains in the distance and a crouching skier about to start a ski run.
    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 in a flannel shirt poses with skiers in red jackets.
    Singer Jason Mraz posed with members of the USA delegation. Mraz was set to perform at the Opening Ceremony on 18 March.
  • A skier holds his hands over his head, celebrating with his smiling teammates.
    Usama Aziz (258) celebrates his race in the 50m cross country skiing preliminaries with his team.
  • Snowboarder zooms downhill
    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.
  • A fish-eye lens image of people walking with candles through a snowy street at night.
    Special Olympics athletes and coaches from around the world passed through airports and train stations to reach Schladming and Graz.
  • People in heavy coats hold candles as a group at night.
    Members of the Special Olympics Germany delegation took part in a candle walk as part of the Host Town program.
  • Closeup photo of several people holding brightly burning candles.
    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.
  • A young man looks into the camera as the photographer's hand and his clasp in a handshake.
    David Bocek of Slovakia greeted a photographer in Graz. Several delegations toured and walked around the city as part of their Host Town experience.
  • A group of eight young women in pink jackets clasp hands and bow as a man bows in return.
    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."
  • A group of young men in athletic gear walk on a sidewalk in the city of Graz.
    Members of the team from Special Olympics Saudi Arabia walked through Graz after visiting a cafe to rest.
  • A young man in sunglasses grins as he takes a selfie as others of his team board a tram.
    Members of the Special Olympics Argentina delegation boarded a tram near the city center.
  • Host Town in Graz A team dressed in white pose with statues and buildings in the background.
    The delegation from Special Olympics Azerbaijan posed in the city center of Graz.
  • A team of two dozen young people in blue coats cheer. A snow-covered mountain is behind them.
    Athletes and coaches from Special Olympics Norway in Rittisberg.
  • People in coats lift their arms as they exercise.
    Jason Donovan (right) and Tomas Loftus from Special Olympics New Zealand during warm up before a games day in Ramsau Rittisberg.
  • Maryam Alzaabi (left) will compete in snowshoeing; Aysha Alnuaimi will compete in figure skating; Reem Albalooshi will compete in snowshoeing.
    Special Olympics athletes and coaches from around the world passed through airports and train stations to reach Schladming and Graz.
  • A man and a women in winter coats pose smiling.
    Athletes Ella Sharples and Jason Donovan of the New Zealand Special Olympics team in front of the Rasthaus in Schladming.
  • Four people in heavy black coats stand and pose in a horse-drawn sled.
    A snowy mountain is behind them. Members of Special Olympics Team Germany ride a horse sled in Ramsau Rittisberg.
  • A young man wearing a knit cap and a winter jacket poses while flexing his arms.
    Dag S Ryen from Special Olympics Norway.
  • A young woman is surrounded by dozens of suitcases in rows.
    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.
  • A man reaches for a suitcase as people nearby laugh.
    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.