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

  • 1月 26 - 1月 27
    X Games 3rd Annual Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding Race
    周四 1月 26 - 周五 1月 27, 2017
     
    2 venues
    USA

    X Games 3rd Annual Special Olympics Unified Snowboarding Race

    周四 1月 26 - 周五 1月 27, 2017
     

    At Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado, Special Olympics Athletes and their Unified Partners will compete a dual giant slalom race which will consist of two timed runs. The combined times of the each snowboarder’s best time determine the results.


    Related Link(s):Learn more

    Venue(s)
    Big Air course at X Games Aspen
    Buttermilk Mountain
    38700 Highway 82
    Aspen, Colorado
    USA
    This is where the X Games Aspen Unified Snowboard Race will take place on Thursday, January 26 at 11:30 a.m. MT
    Silver Dip NASTAR Course
    Aspen Mountain
    Aspen, Colorado
    USA
    This is where the Hannah Teter Snowboard Race will take place on Friday, January 27 at 11:30 p.m. MT
  • 3月 03 - 3月 05
    The NY Football Giants Snow Bowl
    周五 3月 3 - 周日 3月 05, 2017
     
    East Rutherford
    New Jersey
    USA

    The NY Football Giants Snow Bowl

    周五 3月 3 - 周日 3月 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
  • 3月 14 - 3月 25
    2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games
    周二 3月 14 - 周六 3月 25, 2017
     
    6 venues
    Austria

    2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games

    周二 3月 14 - 周六 3月 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
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