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World Games: Unity Sports Preview

Unity Sports is an exciting, new element of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games.  Special Olympics athletes will join fans, supporters and sports celebrities on the field of play for a series of competitions in 21 different sports. 

Unity Sports Preview

Olympic Gold Medalist Bart Conner lends a hand and a smile to a program of exercise at the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy  in Norman, Oklahoma.

One of the new additions to the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games involves Unity Sports, a series of exhibition competitions that pair people with and without intellectual disabilities to compete alongside one another on the field of play. Inspired by Unified Sports® and the Special Olympics Unity Cup Presented by Coca-Cola, the Unity Sports events will provide a memorable opportunity for the athletes and guests to spotlight the importance of inclusion, sportsmanship, and friendship to the rest of the world.

Former Superstars Get Involved

The first Unity competition of the World Games will be a 12-team doubles tennis tournament, with each team comprised of an All Star Fan and a Special Olympics athlete. Former tennis superstars Monica Seles and Mario Ancic will compete, along with All Star Fans Muhtar Kent and Larry Lucchino, and International Global Messengers and Special Olympics athletes Ariel Ary and Minmin Huang. 

The tennis event will kick off an outstanding week of 24 different Unity competitions across 21 different sports, including kayaking, volleyball, table tennis, and bowling. Olympic medalists, professional athletes, dignitaries, and dedicated supporters of the Special Olympics Global Movement will join with Special Olympics athletes in these competitions. In addition, many team competitions include opportunities for fans, youth leaders, coaches, and volunteers to take part.

How YOU Can Get Involved

Fans and players of Unity Sports are creating a personal webpage to fundraise in support of their participation in Athens. To date, fundraisers have pledged to raise over $100,000. If you are interested in setting up your own Unity Sports fundraising webpage, visit

And if you are interested in participating in Unity Sports events and willing to join our online fundraising initiative, please contact Parker Ramsdell at for more information. We hope you will say “I’m In!” and join a Unity Sport!