Swimming

Special Olympics Puerto Rico swimmer Jose Cubilette competes in the 2012 Special Olympics World Aquatics Invitiational in Puerto Rico. Photo by Will Schermerhorn.

Special Olympics swimming is popular world wide. Stay up to date with swimming news, events and competition results on this page. You'll find links to coaching resources, too. It's all here.


00x200 Unified Sports Aquatics

Get an overview of the sport of Special Olympics swimming.  View the Aquatics Fact Sheet

Swimming is one of the most popular sports in world. Unlike other sports, swimming is a life skill that is taught, first, to ensure safety and, secondly, for sports and competition purposes. Aquatics covers a great variety of swimming skills, from short sprints to longer events and relays. And the Aquatics coaching guide (below) gives coaches advice and approaches to successfully coach swimmers of all abilities, from strong, fast competitors to swimmers who find it hard to swim at all.

Open Water Swimming
Special Olympics has a growing number of athletes around the world taking part in open water swimming, a sport in which swimmers race in bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and oceans instead of pools.  Read the coaching guide and see stories and upcoming events by visiting the Open Water Swimming page.

Partnership with the Michael Phelps Foundation
Special Olympics has a partnership with the Michael Phelps Foundation and has appointed the international swimming legend as a Special Olympics Global Ambassador. The Michael Phelps Foundation will expand its signature “IM” with Special Olympics that will bring water safety, recreational aquatic activities, and health, wellness and goal-setting instruction to Special Olympic athletes across the world.


Swimming Stories and News


August 26, 2014 | Middle East North Africa: Kuwait

Record-breaking Athletes on a Journey of Hope

By Lynn Aylward

Athletes Meshaal Al-Bader and Khaled Al-Dousari (second from left and far right) with supporters

Two Special Olympics athletes from Kuwait are sailing a ship named “Journey of Hope” to 39 ports of call around the world to raise awareness and share a humanitarian message about the capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities.View Story Two Special Olympics athletes from Kuwait are sailing a ship named “Journey of Hope” to 39 ports of call around the world to raise awareness and share a humanitarian message about the capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities. In early August, they brought that message to Special Olympics headquarters and to the Kuwaiti Embassy in Washington, DC. The sea journey that Meshaal Al-Bader and Khaled Al-Dousari are making has been over ten years in the planning and aided by their families –especially their fathers, Jassem Al-Reshaid Al-Bader and Badi Al-Dousari—and supporters; a foundation created to oversee the construction and financing of the ship and its 210 days of travel. The two athletes compete in Special Olympics swimming, but the records they have broken are in scuba: one was the first diver with Down Syndrome ever to become certified by PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and one is the youngest person with Down Syndrome to be certified. Another record they helped to break concerns their vessel: the Journey of Hope is the first to be completely constructed in Kuwait in some 80 years. In Washington, Special Olympics Board Chairman Tim Shriver and Ambassador Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah both praised the determination and bravery of the athletes and their supporters. “Journey of Hope” is currently sailing towards Greece and will reach its home port in Kuwait on the first of December.

About Lynn Aylward:I work in communications for Special Olympics
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August 11, 2014 | North America: New Jersey

My Brown-Eyed Boy and his Quest for Gold

By Maria M. McQuay

Michael admiring his medal he just won!

My son decided he wanted to be a part of Team New Jersey at the USA Games. He worked hard and was selected to be on the team. I can only tell you how excited I was for my special young man.View Story My son Michael is 18 years old and has been an athlete for Special Olympics New Jersey for the past three years. He currently swims for the Jersey Hammerheads Area 5 Swim Team. When Michael began swimming for Special Olympics, he had decided he wanted to be a part of Team New Jersey at the USA Games. He would practice 4 or 5 days a week. During this time, he learned how to dive and he started to learn to swim other strokes besides freestyle and backstroke. He was focused, which is normally difficult for Michael because he has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some days were difficult but Michael persevered and would always complete his training. All of his hard work paid off and he was selected to be on the Aquatics Team for New Jersey. I can only tell you how excited I was for my special young man. Once he learned he was selected, the training only increased. He wanted to be successful. Well he was He won 2 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Medal and 1 Bronze at the USA Games. We are so proud of Michael.

About Maria M. McQuay:I am a mother of 2 children. One 18 year old who swims for the Special Olympics and my Daughter who is 12 who will be on a Unified Soccer team for the Special Olympics this year. I am also an LTP Coordinator for the Jersey Hammerheads Area 5 Swim Team. My husband Mike is the Head Coach. I guess you can say it is a Family affair. We are all involved with Special Olympics.
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August 07, 2014 | North America: Illinois

Alex at the 2014 USA Games

By Laura Dmytrenko

Alex participated in the 2014 Special Olympic USA games in aquatics. We are so proud of him winning three gold medals.View Story Alex participated in the 2014 Special Olympic USA games in aquatics. We are so proud of him winning three gold medals. We are grateful to Warren Special Recreation of Gurnee, Ill. and to Special Olympics of Illinois for giving him and his family an unforgettable adventure. I don't know what Alex liked more--winning gold or the whole experience of flying with Team Illinois and spending a week with the other athletes. He has been on Fox News and interviewed for several local newspapers. The whole experience has had such a positive effect on his personality. Alex eagerly has gone with us wearing his medals to family get togethers where previously he would prefer to stay home. Thank you for making my son (and his family) so happy.

About Laura Dmytrenko:I am a retired pediatric nurse. I graduated from the University of Florida and have worked in the NICU, regular newborn nursery, special care nursery, mother-baby post partum care and a regular pediatric floor with patients up to age 18 years. Alex has two older sisters, one is a PICU nurse and the other has specialty framing business in Chicago.
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Aquatics Events


Date

Event

Location

Sep 9 - 21 2014

2014 Special Olympics European/Eurasian Summer Games

In September 2014 more than 2,000 athletes from 58 countries will come to Antwerp, Belgium for the 2014 Special Olympics European/Eurasian Summer Games and enjoy 13 days full of joy and friendship. The athletes will compete in 10 sports and be invited to join 5 supporting programs.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics European Games 2014
Email:info@so2014.com
Phone:+32 3 220 25 00
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Various locations, AntwerpAntwerp
BELGIUM

Oct 10 - 12 2014

Special Olympics Bangladesh National Games

Special Olympics Bangladesh’s National Games will welcome an estimated 800 athletes and 100 Unified Sports® partners across Bangladesh. Ten sports will be played: athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, cricket, football, handball, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. The three day event will be held across different venues: Bangabandhu National Stadium, Army Stadium, National Indoor Stadium & Swimming pool and the Bangladesh Sports Education Institute (BKSP).
For more information
Faruqul Islam
Email:sobangla@gmail.com
Phone:+880 1819 259844
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Bangabandhu National Stadium & other venuesDhaka
BANGLADESH

October 20, 2014

Special Olympics National Games 2014 Melbourne

The 10th Special Olympics Australia National Games will involve more than 1,200 athletes of all levels competing in 16 Olympic and demonstration sports and events. These Games offer the opportunity for athletes to be selected to represent Australia at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2015. For the majority of competitors, the National Games in Melbourne represents the culmination of four years of competing at local, regional and state level. Competing in the same world-class venues as their Olympic heroes, our Special Olympics athletes will perform in front of their proud parents, friends, supporters and the wider community. Athletes of all abilities will compete in 16 Olympic style sports including AFL and netball as demonstration sports across iconic sporting venues in Melbourne. Other special events include: Healthy Athletes Program, Young Athlete Program (2–7 year old), Athlete Leadership & Ambassador Program, Family Functions Social Outing, Law Enforcement Torch Run, Opening and Closing Ceremonies
For more information
More Details
Robyn Cooper
Email:robync@specialolympics.com.au
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Lakeside Stadium & various venuesMelbourne
AUSTRALIA

Nov 1 - 3 2014

Special Olympics Nippon National Summer Games Fukuoka 2014

Athletes from all over Japan will come to the city of Fukuoka for the 2014 Special Olympics Fukuoka Games to participate in 3 days of competition in 12 sports. Athletes will compete in aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, bowling, football, golf, gymnastics, table tennis, volleyball and equestrian.
For more information
More Details
Sayaka Sonobe
Email:tokyo_office@son.or.jp
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Multiple locations, Fukuoka
Fukuoka , Kyushu
JAPAN

Jun 5 - 7 2015

2015 Maryland Summer Games

Join us 5-7 June 2015 at Towson University in Towson, Maryland as our athletes compete in 3 days of exciting summer sports competition. Events will include: Aquatics – traditional individual events and team relays, Unified team relays; Athletics – traditional and Unified track, mini-javelin, high jump, long jump, pentathlon, softball throw, shot put, standing long jump, tennis ball throw; Bocce – singles, doubles, Unified doubles; Cheerleading – traditional and Unified team competition; Softball – traditional team competition, Unified team competition, individual skills competition. For schedule details please refer to the link, below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
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Towson University
8000 York Ave

Towson, Maryland
UNITED STATES

Jul 24 - Aug 2 2015

World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015

In July of 2015 more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will come to Los Angeles, California for the Special Olympics World Summer Games and enjoy 10 days full of joy, friendship and competition. Athletes will compete in 22 sports. The event expects to attract 500,000 spectators and 30,000 volunteers and 3,000 coaches.
For more information
More Details
World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015
Email:info@la2015.org
Phone:213-892-6018
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Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California
UNITED STATES

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Aquatics/Swimming Competitions

2014 Canada Summer Games

The Special Olympics 2014 Canada Summer Games was the largest Canadian Games ever. See results and teams.


2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.


2014 Southern California Summer Invitational Games

Special Olympics athletes from Southern California and from around the world competed in Los Angeles. See results and teams.


2013 Asia Pacific Games

Athletes from 30 Asia Pacific and East Asia regions compete in the inaugural Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games. Get schedules and results.


World Aquatics Invitational 2012

The first Special Olympics World Aquatics Invitational took place in September in San Juan, Puerto Rico. See results from the competition.


2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.


How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.

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Videos and Photos

Coaching in SerbiaCoaches from three countries met in Serbia to hone their skills.See slideshow »


Videos and Photos

In Deep WaterGo feet first for one of the newest Special Olympics sports.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

First Unity CupSpecial Olympics uses football to promote understanding.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »



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