Welcome To Special Olympics International!

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

Unified Sports®

Team sports bring people together. Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams do that, too and much more. More than 1.2 million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way. ESPN has served as the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports since 2013, supporting the growth and expansion of this program that empowers individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to engage through the power of sports.

Promoting Social Inclusion Through Sport

Special Olympics is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. 

In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability. That makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Having sport in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away. 

U.S. States Embracing Unified Sports

Young people with disabilities don't often get a chance to play on their school sports teams. More and more U.S. states are adopting the Unified Sports approach that Special Olympics pioneered.

Unified Sports is also an integral part of the Special Olympics Unified Strategy for Schools, which was founded in 2008 and funded through the U.S. Department of Education to use Special Olympics as a way to build inclusion and tolerance in schools. Unified Sports are now in more than 4300 middle and high schools in the United States.  Seventy percent of Unified Schools (Pre-K through Grade 12) are engaging in Unified Sports!  Also 215 US colleges and universities have Special Olympics clubs on campus, providing ongoing Unified and inclusionary activities for students and Special Olympics athletes.  73 of the 215 US colleges and universities activating Special Olympics College conduct ongoing Unified Sports on their campus.  Learn how to get involved, visit: www.playunified.org.

For almost 30 years, Special Olympics has offered sport teams that blend people with and without intellectual disabilities. That is a model that encourages sports and fun. It also gets people together to learn more about each other.

In addition to establishing support from ESPN, the 'Worldwide Leader in Sports', to become the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports, additional support for Unified Sports in markets across the world has included support from partners including: Lions Club International, The Kim Samuel Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education and many more.

Our Partners

  • ESPN
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • Kim Samuel and the Samuel Family Foundation
  • Perfect Sense
  • Y&R
  • Burson-Marsteller
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • WWE
  • NBA
  • MLS Works
  • Uniqlo
  • Seiko
  • NIRSA
  • NFHS
  • EuroLeague
  • UNICEF
  • UEFA
  • FIFA Football for Hope
  • King Baudouin Foundation

Major sports organization, league and event support to Play Unified

Many high-profile, professional sports organizations and events have also showcased Unified Sports as a vehicle to show the power of inclusive sports!  This support includes:

National Basketball Association (NBA),

Major League Soccer (MLS),

Union of European Football Associations (UEFA),

National Collegiate Athletic Association, D-III,

ESPN's X Games Aspen,

National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) and

National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). 

Quizzes

Unified Sports® Events

  • août
    06
    Unified Softball Tournament
    août 06, 2016
    09:00 AM - 08:00 PM
    North Kingstown
    Rhode Island
    Unified Softball Tournament

    On Saturday, August 6th, the Unified Softball Tournament will be held at Ryan Park in North Kingstown. 360 athletes and unified partners from 18 teams will be participating in the final competition of this summer sport.

    For more information
    Contact: Chris Hopkins
    Email: chris@specialolympicsri.org
    Phone: (401) 349-4900

    août 06, 2016
    09:00 AM - 08:00 PM
    Ryan Park
    North Kingstown, Rhode Island
    UNITED STATES
  • août
    21
    Unified Golf Tournament
    août 21, 2016
    01:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    East Greenwich
    Rhode Island
    Unified Golf Tournament

    The Unified Golf Tournament will be held on Sunday, August 21st at East Greenwich Country Club in East Greenwich. Fifteen athletes and fifteen unified partners will be participating in this nine hole golf tournament.

    For more information
    Contact: Chris Hopkins
    Email: chris@specialolympicsri.org
    Phone: 401-349-4900

    août 21, 2016
    01:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    East Greenwich Country Club
    1646 Division Road
    East Greenwich, Rhode Island
    UNITED STATES
  • sept.
    15
    Special Olympics Ukraine III Open Games
    sept. 15, 2016 - sept. 18, 2016
     
    Lviv
    UKRAINE
    Special Olympics Ukraine III Open Games

    The third Special Olympics Ukraine Open Games will involved two days of competitions in nine sports including: Swimming, 5-a-side Football, Floorball, Table Tennis, Unified Basketball, Bocce, Kayaking, and Open Water Swimming. Delegations from across Ukraine as well as other European countries will compete in the Games taking place in the UNESCO Heritage city of Lviv, in central Ukraine. The Games are co-organised by the public youth organisation NGO SAMI.

    For more information
    Contact: Andriiy Porodko
    Email: andriiporodk@gmail.com

    sept. 15, 2016 - sept. 18, 2016
     
    Venues across Lviv City
    Lviv, Ukraine
    UKRAINE
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