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We are a global organization with programs in 170 countries. This site may be customized by language and geographic region.

Press Room: News and Press Information

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all.

Latest News and Press Releases

ESPN’s Groundbreaking Coverage of Special Olympics World Winter Games Begins March 18 From Austria

February 17, 2017

ESPN’s World Winter Games coverage includes live three-hour Opening Ceremony featuring Parade of Athletes, Special Guests and musical performances from multi-Grammy Award-Winner Jason Mraz and Grace VanderWaal. Nightly Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 program to bring viewers stories, competition showcase, interviews and more throughout the Games.

Special Performances Announced for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games

February 17, 2017

Performances by Jason Mraz and Grace VanderWaal have been announced for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games Opening Ceremony in Austria on March 18. Princess Charlene of Monaco, Hannah Teter, Apolo Ohno, Dikembe Mutombo, Michelle Kwan, Sam Perkins, Jillian Michaels, Louie Van Amstel and many more will attend Games.

Special Olympics US Delegates Make Case of Impact and Advocate for Critical Funding on Capitol Hill

February 16, 2017

Special Olympics athletes, Program leaders, Unified Partners, and family members from 39 US states and the District of Columbia converged on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on February 15 for Special Olympics’ 15th annual “Capitol Hill Day.”

Contacts

Press
Christy Weir
Director, Global Media and Public Relations
+1 202 824-0307
E-mail
Social Media
Ryan Eades
Director, Digital & Social Engagement
+1 202 824-0292
E-mail
Twitter: @ryan2499
Health Programs
Karl Hejlik 
Director, Internal Communications
+1 202-824-0308
E-mail

Events Around the World

  • Feb 25 - Feb 26
    2017 Special Olympics Oregon Winter Games
    Sat Feb 25 - Sun Feb 26, 2017
     
    2 venues
    USA

    2017 Special Olympics Oregon Winter Games

    Sat Feb 25 - Sun Feb 26, 2017
     

    Phenomenal athletes from around the state will hit the slopes February 25-26, 2017 at Mt. Bachelor for the annual Special Olympics Oregon Winter Games presented by Les Schwab Tire Centers. Athletes will meet at the starting line for alpine (slalom, giant slalom, downhill) and snowboarding events, along with cross country skiing and snow snowshoeing with awards being handed out by local officers as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The Games Ceremonies will take place Saturday evening at Mountain View High School.


    Contact information

    • Chad Carter
      Sr. Director of Marketing & Communications
      ccarter@soor.org
      503-248-0600
    Venue(s)
    Mt. Bachelor
    13000 SW Century Drive
    Bend, Oregon
    USA
    Mt. Bachelor will play host to our competition with events taking place throughout the mountain.
    Mountain View High School
    2755 NE 27th St
    Bend, Oregon
    USA
    Mountain View High School will be the venue for the Games Ceremonies following the first day of competition. The dinner, ceremonies and dance will take place from 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at the high school.
  • Mar 03 - Mar 05
    The NY Football Giants Snow Bowl
    Fri Mar 3 - Sun Mar 05, 2017
     
    East Rutherford
    New Jersey
    USA

    The NY Football Giants Snow Bowl

    Fri Mar 3 - Sun Mar 05, 2017
     

    The NY Football Giants Snow Bowl is an official 6-on-6 flag football tournament with light blocking, played over three days. Teams are allowed up to 15 players; all must be 18 years of age or older to participate. All proceeds collected by the flag football teams benefit Special Olympics New Jersey athletes and help foster the Special Olympics mission.


    Related Link(s):More Details

    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    MetLife Stadium
    East Rutherford, New Jersey
    USA
  • Mar 03 - Mar 05
    Louisiana State Indoor Games
    Fri Mar 3 - Sun Mar 05, 2017
     
    4 venues
    USA

    Louisiana State Indoor Games

    Fri Mar 3 - Sun Mar 05, 2017
     

    This is an event for all Areas. Male and female athletes from across the state will compete in basketball, bowling and tennis. Sign up today to play, coach or volunteer for this event.


    Venue(s)
    Tennis
    Independence Community Park
    7500 Independence Blvd
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    USA
    Basketball
    Team Sportsplex
    7122 Perkins Rd
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    USA
    Show all Venues
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  • Mar 04 - Mar 05
    Special Olympics Connecticut 2017 Winter Games
    Sat Mar 4 - Sun Mar 05, 2017
     
    5 venues
    USA

    Special Olympics Connecticut 2017 Winter Games

    Sat Mar 4 - Sun Mar 05, 2017
     

    Special Olympics Connecticut will proudly host its 2017 Winter Games presented by Eversource Energy on Saturday March 4th and Sunday March 5th in the Greater Hartford area. Nearly 900 Athletes and Unified Sports Partners are expected to participate in skating, skiing, snowshoeing, gymnastics and unified floor hockey. You are invited to come out and cheer on the participants and enjoy a day of winter fun! Events are fee and open to the public.


    Contact information

    • Debbie Horne
      Director of Communications and Marketing
      debbieh@soct.org
      203-230-1201 ext 240
    Venue(s)
    Traditional and Unified Snowshoes and Cross Country Skiing
    Eversource, Windsor
    1985 Blue Hills Ave Ext.
    Windor, Connecticut
    USA
    Unified Floor Hockey and Floor Hockey Skills
    Pratt and Whitney Hangar
    Silver Lane
    East Hartford, Connecticut
    USA
    Show all Venues
  • Mar
    04
    Unified Sports Rivalry Series - UNC vs. Duke
    Sat Mar 04, 2017
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Chapel Hill
    North Carolina, 27514

    Unified Sports Rivalry Series - UNC vs. Duke

    Sat Mar 04, 2017
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    The Special Olympics Unified Sports Rivalry Series are games where each team represents one college rival team. The teams are comprised of students from the perspective universities and local Special Olympics athletes. This Series offers Special Olympics athletes a chance to be a part of hype of the varsity game and the challenge to defend their schools' titles!


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    Carmichael Arena
    310 South Rd.
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 27514
  • Mar 05 - Mar 11
    Team Namibia Training Camp
    Sun Mar 5 - Sat Mar 11, 2017
     
    Windhoek
    Namibia

    Team Namibia Training Camp

    Sun Mar 5 - Sat Mar 11, 2017
     

    Team Namibian will partake in Floorball, represented by male and mixed teams. Training Camp is scheduled to take place with the purpose to strengthen team spirit, coordination techniques and agility.

    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    Katutura Youth Complex
    Wernhil Park
    Windhoek
    Namibia
  • Mar 07 - Mar 14
    World Winter Games Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg
    Tue Mar 7 - Tue Mar 14, 2017
     
    Graz
    Austria

    World Winter Games Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg

    Tue Mar 7 - Tue Mar 14, 2017
     

    More than 120 law enforcement officers from around the world will be in Austria to carry the flame of hope around the country and to the Opening Ceremonies.

    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    communities througout Austria
    various
    Graz
    Austria
  • Mar
    13
    Special Olympics South Africa World Winter Games Send Off
    Mon Mar 13, 2017
    13:00:00 - 14:30:00
    Johannesburg
    Gauteng
    South Africa

    Special Olympics South Africa World Winter Games Send Off

    Mon Mar 13, 2017
    13:00:00 - 14:30:00

    Special Olympics South Africa will be hosting a send off function for our National team at Midrand Conference Centre, north of Johannesburg on the 13th Of March 2017. Our team will be joined by the Honourable Deputy Minister of Sport, Mr Gert Oousthuizen, Special Olympics South Africa Chairperson Dr, Mathews Phosa as well as Special Olympics Ambassadors, Letshego Zulu, Melanie Ramjee, Mark Fish, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Lil red, Diamond Thopola, Rofhiwa Maemu, David Rees and Quinn Brown amongst others. An enthusiastic team of 32 individuals consisting of athletes, coaches and support staff will depart on the 13th to Graz in Austria to attend the games. The SOSA athletes will be competing in 3 different sports codes, floor hockey, figure skating and short speed skating.


    Related Link(s):Learn more

    Venue(s)
    Midrand Conference Centre
    661 Pendulum Rd, Halfway House Ext 12, Midrand
    Johannesburg, Gauteng
    South Africa
  • Mar 14 - Mar 25
    2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games
    Tue Mar 14 - Sat Mar 25, 2017
     
    6 venues
    Austria

    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
  • Mar 17 - Mar 19
    Illinois State Basketball Competition
    Fri Mar 17 - Sun Mar 19, 2017
     
    Normal
    Illinois
    USA

    Illinois State Basketball Competition

    Fri Mar 17 - Sun Mar 19, 2017
     

    State Basketball is one of 9 state sports competitions. It is the culminating competition for those participating in team and individual skills basketball. State Basketball is held at Horton Fieldhouse – ISU and the Shirk Center- IWU. Approximately 1,540 athletes will compete in this 3-day event and show off their winning form! The State Basketball Tournament is supported, in part, by a grant from the Shirk Family Foundation.

    Venue(s)
    Horton Fieldhouse
    713 W. College Ave.
    Normal, Illinois
    USA
  • Mar
    19
    2017 Golisano Global Health Leadership Awards
    Sun Mar 19, 2017
    11:00 AM - 01:30 PM
    Schladming
    Austria
    USA

    2017 Golisano Global Health Leadership Awards

    Sun Mar 19, 2017
    11:00 AM - 01:30 PM

    Celebrate the Golisano Foundation’s investment in and impact on inclusive health as an example of how partners are helping to change the game for people with intellectual disabilities. 7 partners be honored at this event.


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    Sport Royer Hotel
    Europapl. 583
    Schladming, Austria
    USA