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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.

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

Latest News and Press Releases

2017 Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremony Kicks Off the World's Largest Sporting Event of the Year

March 18, 2017

As the “Flame of Hope” was lit in the Planai Stadium in Schladming, Austria tonight, more than 2,600 athletes from 105 nations took the Special Olympics oath promising, “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” The dramatic culmination marked the opening of the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, the largest sporting event in the world in 2017.

Seven are Honored for Pioneering Global Health Work with First-ever Golisano Global Health Leadership Awards

March 19, 2017

Honorees announced at Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

European Union Pledges €6m to Support Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria

March 14, 2017

The European Union has pledged significant financial support to the upcoming Special Olympics World Winter Games, which begin in Austria on 14th March. Through the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, funds totalling €6 million have been granted to Special Olympics, and the Games Organising Committee in Austria, to ensure the success and ongoing positive legacy impact of the event.

Events Around the World

  • 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 20 - Mar 24
    Healthy Athletes Exams at World Winter Games
    Mon Mar 20 - Fri Mar 24, 2017
     
    Graz
    Austria

    Healthy Athletes Exams at World Winter Games

    Mon Mar 20 - Fri Mar 24, 2017
     

    Free health and sports fitness exams will be offered to all athletes attending the 2017 World Winter Games will have the opportunity to receive free health and sports exams. Doctors, nurses and medical students offer their time for free to examine our athletes. They check the eyes, ears, feet, mouth and teeth. The health care volunteers make sure the athletes at a Games are fit to compete.


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    All Health Exams
    Stadthalle Graz
    Messeplatz 1
    Graz
    Austria
  • Mar 22 - Mar 25
    2017 Special Olympics St. Kitts-Nevis National Games
    Wed Mar 22 - Sat Mar 25, 2017
     
    2 venues
    St. Kitts Nevis

    2017 Special Olympics St. Kitts-Nevis National Games

    Wed Mar 22 - Sat Mar 25, 2017
     

    Join Special Olympics St. Kitts-Nevis at our 2017 National Games 22 to 25 March, 2017. We are expecting contingents of athletes and officials from our partner Special Olympics programs of Connecticut, USA, Cayman Islands and St Maarten. It is anticipated that more than 120 hundred athletes will participate in these games. See the athletes compete in athletics, bocce, swimming and tennis. 22 March Opening Ceremony and athletics - Kim Collins Stadium - St Kitts; 24 March Bocce and Tennis - Nevis 25 March Swimming Competition - St Kitts.

    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    Opening Ceremony and Athletics
    Kim Collins Athletic Stadium
    Bird Rock
    Basseterre
    St. Kitts Nevis
    Entrance on South Gates
    Bocce and Tennis
    Cecele Browne Integrated School
    Prospect
    Charlestown, Nevis
    St. Kitts Nevis
    On 25 March event will take place at Frigate Bay.
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  • Mar
    24
    Interscholastic Unified Sports Bocce Championship
    Fri Mar 24, 2017
    08:30 AM - 11:00 AM
    Hershey
    Pennsylvania
    USA

    Interscholastic Unified Sports Bocce Championship

    Fri Mar 24, 2017
    08:30 AM - 11:00 AM

    SOPA hosts the IUS Bocce Championship at PIAA Boy’s and Girl’s Basketball Championship, Hershey, PA in March. Bocce teams will consists of a proportional number of students with and without intellectual disabilities (one team consists of 6-8 athletes). By providing opportunities for students both with all types of disabilities and without disabilities to participate in sports meaningfully and by engaging other students in the school community, Interscholastic Unified Sports (IUS) helps promote inclusion, acceptance, and respect. The Special Olympics Interscholastic Unified Sports program is supported by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and the Bureau of Special Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education.


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    Hershey Giant Center
    550 Hersheypark Dr
    Hershey, Pennsylvania
    USA
    Stadium
  • Apr
    02
    Unified Sports Rivalry Series - Alabama vs. Ole Miss
    Sun Apr 02, 2017
    12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
    East Tuscaloosa
    Alabama
    USA

    Unified Sports Rivalry Series - Alabama vs. Ole Miss

    Sun Apr 02, 2017
    12:00 PM - 02:00 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)
    University of Alabama Main Recreation Center
    401 5th Ave.
    East Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    USA
  • Apr 04 - Apr 07
    Friendly Multi-Sport Competition of Special Olympics "BoHeMSA"
    Tue Apr 4 - Fri Apr 07, 2017
     
    3 venues
    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Friendly Multi-Sport Competition of Special Olympics "BoHeMSA"

    Tue Apr 4 - Fri Apr 07, 2017
     

    The organizer of the entire competition is the Bosnian and Herzegovinian Medical Students’ Association "BoHeMSA" Local Committee Tuzla, as part of the IFMSA network, together in cooperation with the Faculty of Medicine Tuzla and the University of Tuzla. In order to grow into a society which practices, reaches and implements policies where every individual has equal rights and opportunities regardless of their diversity, integration of disabled people into such society is emerging as one of the solutions to enable its growth. Social inclusion does not imply equalization of all people, but respecting the differences of each individual. Developing tolerance allows expansion of perspective, gaining experiences and developing of the human personality. Guided by our motto "DO NOT CALL ME SPECIAL! DIFFERENT DOES NOT MEAN IMPOSSIBLE!“ we use sport as one of the ways in which children and young people with disabilities can be active while developing their talents and capabilities, and by doing so successfully engage into everyday activities. To achieve this mission, we also got help from our partners which include Faculty for physical education and sport in Tuzla and Center for sport University of Tuzla. The competition will be organized in four sports: athletics, swimming, basketball and football. Each competition will be organized in three divisions depending on the degree disabilities. Athletics and swimming, will be organized in the men's and women's categories.


    Related Link(s):Learn more

    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    University Hall
    Univerzitetska 2
    Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Tušanj City Stadium
    Rudarska 2
    Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Show all Venues
  • Apr
    29
    North Central Track & Field
    Sat Apr 29, 2017
    09:00 AM - 04:00 PM
    Tecumseh
    Kansas
    USA

    North Central Track & Field

    Sat Apr 29, 2017
    09:00 AM - 04:00 PM

    The North Central Regional Basketball Tournament will be held at Shawnee Heights High School 4201 SE Shawnee Heights Rd, Tecumseh, KS 66542 on Saturday, April 29. The competition will run from 9:00am. to 4:00pm. For more information, contact Krystin Guggisberg at guggisbergk@ksso.org


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    Shawnee Heights High School
    4201 SE Shawnee Heights Rd
    Tecumseh, Kansas
    USA
  • May
    06
    Unified Soccer Tournament
    Sat May 06, 2017
    09:00 AM - 04:00 PM
    Bonner Springs
    Kansas
    USA

    Unified Soccer Tournament

    Sat May 06, 2017
    09:00 AM - 04:00 PM

    The Unified Soccer Tournament will be held at Bonner Springs High School, 100 McDanield St, Bonner Springs, KS. The Tournament will begin at 9:00am. The Kansas Unified Sports League will host its culminatng soccer tournament of the season. Area high schools, middle schools and adult will compete against teams of similar ability in tournament-style competition. Teams are composed of Special Olympics athletes and volunteer partners who practice and compete together to enhance their skills and form friendships.


    Related Link(s):More Details

    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    Bonner Springs School District Campus
    100 McDaniel St
    Bonner Springs, Kansas
    USA
  • May 19 - May 21
    Louisiana State Summer Games
    Fri May 19 - Sun May 21, 2017
     
    Hammond
    Louisiana
    USA

    Louisiana State Summer Games

    Fri May 19 - Sun May 21, 2017
     

    This is an event for all Areas. Male and female athletes from across the state will compete in Athletics (Track & Field), Bocce, Powerlifting and Unified Volleyball. Sign up today to play, coach or volunteer for this event.


    Related Link(s):More Details

    Venue(s)
    Southeastern Louisiana University
    Hammond, Louisiana
    USA
  • May 26 - May 27
    Interscholastic Unified Sports Track and Field Championship
    Fri May 26 - Sat May 27, 2017
     
    Shippensburg
    Pennsylvania
    USA

    Interscholastic Unified Sports Track and Field Championship

    Fri May 26 - Sat May 27, 2017
     

    On a Unified Track and Field team, students with and without intellectual disabilities compete alongside each. Each team members competes in one field event, one track event and one relay. Competition divisions are based on similar ability levels to ensure meaningful involvement. By providing opportunities for students both with all types of disabilities and without disabilities to participate in sports meaningfully and by engaging other students in the school community, Interscholastic Unified Sports (IUS) helps promote inclusion, acceptance, and respect. The Special Olympics Interscholastic Unified Sports program is supported by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and the Bureau of Special Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education.


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    Shippensburg University
    1871 Old Main Dr
    Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
    USA
  • Jul 07 - Jul 09
    2017 Special Olympics Alberta Summer Games
    Fri Jul 7 - Sun Jul 09, 2017
     
    5 venues
    Canada

    2017 Special Olympics Alberta Summer Games

    Fri Jul 7 - Sun Jul 09, 2017
     

    The 2017 Special Olympics Alberta Summer Games is taking place in Medicine Hat from July 7 to 9. Medicine Hat will host the largest Provincial Summer Games with over 1,200 athletes and coaches from across the province. Athletes will compete in 11 summer sports: 5 and 10 pin bowling, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball and swimming.


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    Basketball, Bocce, Powerlifting, Soccer, Softball and Swimming
    Family Leisure Centre
    2000 Division Ave N.
    Medicine Hat, Alberta
    Canada
    5-pin Bowling and 10-pin Bowling
    Panorama Bowling Lanes
    820 FA Ave SW
    Medicine Hat, Alberta
    Canada
    Show all Venues