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

  • дек
    15
    Unified Athletics Recognition Night
    дек 15, 2016
    06:30 PM - 09:00 PM
    Columbus
    Indiana
    Unified Athletics Recognition Night

    Thursday, December 15th will be a special night. Not only is it the East vs North girls basketball game, but it is our Unified-Athlete recognition night featuring the Unified Track/basketball athletes and the Unified dance team. Between the JV & V Girls game- Prior to varsity warm-up period there will be a 12-minute running clock unified basketball game between the East & North Unified teams. Halftime during the varsity game- Unified dance Team will perform Pass the bucket collection to support both school unified programs will take place between the first and second quarters of the varsity game. Please plan to attend this special event.

    For more information
    Contact: Pete Huse (Athletic Director)
    Email: husep@bcsc.k12.in.us
    Phone: 812-376-4365

    дек 15, 2016
    06:30 PM - 09:00 PM
    Columbus East vs. Columbus North JV & Varsity Basketball Game
    230 S Marr Rd.
    Columbus, Indiana
    UNITED STATES
  • янв
    19
    Jefferson Area Middle School Unified Basketball
    янв 19, 2017
    12:00 AM
    Metarie
    Louisiana
    Jefferson Area Middle School Unified Basketball

    This is an event for the Jefferson Area. Male and female Athletes and Unified Partners from the area will compete. To play, coach or volunteer for this event use the link below see your area contacts.

    For more information
    More Details

    янв 19, 2017
    12:00 AM
    Ree Allerio Center
    Metarie, Louisiana
    UNITED STATES
  • янв
    26
    Jefferson Area High School Unified Basketball
    янв 26, 2017
    09:00 AM - 01:00 PM
    Metarie
    Louisiana
    Jefferson Area High School Unified Basketball

    This is an event for the Jefferson Area. Male and female Athletes and Unified Partners from the area will compete. To play, coach or volunteer for this event see your area contacts.

    For more information
    More Details

    янв 26, 2017
    09:00 AM - 01:00 PM
    Ree Allerio Center
    Metarie, Louisiana
    UNITED STATES
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