Welcome To Special Olympics International!

We are a global organization with programs in over 220 countries. This site may be customized by language and geographic region.

  • Sports Federation Partnerships

    Special Olympics actively seeks partnerships with international sport organizations to demonstrate the unique ability of sports to transcend barriers and serve as vehicle for social inclusion for children and adults with intellectually disabilities.

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The International Olympic Committee Protocol Agreement

In a Protocol Agreement signed February 15,1988, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizes Special Olympics, Inc. (SOI) as promoting sporting activities for individuals with an intellectual disability. SOI's recognition by the IOC carries with it the responsibility to conduct Special Olympics training and competitions in accordance with the highest ideals of the international Olympic movement, to protect the use of “Special Olympics” and ‘Olympics” from exploitation and other abuses.
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International School Sport Federation MOU

The International School Sport Federation is a global organization whose main mission is to educate through sport by organizing international championships in different sporting disciplines and by encouraging contests between school students with a view to promote better mutual understanding. The partnership with Special Olympics will emphasize opportunities that demonstrate and promote Special Olympics Unified Sports® which focuses on social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team.
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International Softball Federation Proclamation

On June 28th, 2011 in Athens, Greece a proclamation was signed between the International Softball Federation and Special Olympics proclaiming the ISF’s unanimous support of and affinity for Special Olympics and it’s softball players. The ISF and Special Olympics have pledged to promote each other’s organizations while engaging their regional and national governing bodies and programs to grow the sport of softball and increasing opportunities for individuals with an intellectual disability to improve their skills and demonstrate their capabilities while using sport to create more inclusive communities worldwide.
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International Powerlifting Federation MOU

The partnership between Special Olympics International (SOI) and the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) was formed in 2011 when SOI and IPF officials convened at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece to discuss common interests. Out of this meeting evolved an understanding of common goals and a Memorandum of Understanding which allowed for Special Olympics athlete involvement in IPF competition. Since then, Special Olympics athletes have competed in a Special Olympics division in two IPF championships – the 2012 IPF World Championships in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico and the 2013 IPF World Masters Championships in Orlando, Florida. Plans are in place to have continued Special Olympics participation in future IPF events.
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World Tenpin Bowling Association Proclamation

June 26th, 2011 in Athens, Greece a proclamation was signed between the World Ten Pin Bowling Association and Special Olympics proclaiming the WTBA’s unanimous support of and affinity for Special Olympics and it’s bowlers. The WTBA and Special Olympics have pledged to promote each other’s organizations while engaging their regional and national governing bodies and programs to grow the sport of bowling and increasing opportunities for individuals with an intellectual disability to improve their skills and demonstrate their capabilities while using sport to create more inclusive communities worldwide.
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European Golf Association (EGA)

The European Golf Association was founded during a meeting held in Luxembourg on the 20th of November 1937.
The Association declares as its foundation the observance of the Rules of Golf and Amateur Status as laid down by the R&A Limited.
The Association concerns itself solely with matters of an international character. Membership is restricted to European National Amateur Golf Associations, Federations or Unions.

The Association is presently composed of 44 member countries and is governed by the following Committees: Executive Committee (10 members); Championship Committee (12 members); EGA Handicapping & Course Rating Committee; EGA Sustainable Golf Committee
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European Table Tennis Union (ETTU)

European Table Tennis Union was established in March 1957 during World Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.

A board of seven persons was elected to organise the 1st EC, which the Hungarian Association offered and undertook to hold in Budapest in 1958. Actually 60 national Table Tennis associations are affiliated in ETTU. The main ETTU office is located in Luxembourg.

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Federation Internationale de Volleyball Proclamation

June 29th, 2011 in Athens, Greece a proclamation was signed between the International Federation of Volleyball and Special Olympics proclaiming the FIVB’s unanimous support of and affinity for Special Olympics and it’s volleyball players. The FIVB and Special Olympics have pledged to promote each other’s organizations while engaging their regional and national governing bodies and programs to grow the sport of volleyball and increasing opportunities for individuals with an intellectual disability to improve their skills and demonstrate their capabilities while using sport to create more inclusive communities worldwide. 
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International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity MOU

The International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (IFAPA)is a professional association of scholars, professionals and university students in the adapted physical activity field. A partnership agreement was signed between the IFAPA and Special Olympics International on 18 September 2010 providing for a deeper association between both organisations through collaboration on projects of mutual interest and benefit.


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International Olympics Academy Declaration

The International Olympic Academy (IOA) is a global organisation that promotes and preserves the ideals and principles of the Olympic Movement and enhances the contribution Olympism makes to humanity. On 18 May 2004, the IOA through a signed Declaration with Special Olympics, pledged its unanimous support and affinity for Special Olympics and its athletes who exemplify the values and ideals of the Olympic Truce – reconciliation, understanding, solidarity and peace.


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FIBA EUROPE

FIBA Europe is the governing body for basketball in Europe, whose membership consists of the 51 national basketball federations of Europe. FIBA Europe is responsible for controlling and developing the sport of basketball in Europe.
FIBA Europe and Special Olympics Europe Eurasia (SOEE) partnership was established on 18 May 2004 with the aim of developing basketball for players with intellectual disabilities and significantly change public attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities

The Special Olympics European Basketball Week concept initiated in 2004, is the flagship event of the FIBA Europe and SOEE partnership and gathering over 18,000 players annually. This initiative was instrumental to continue the growth of Special Olympics Basketball in Europe from 13,000 in 2004 to 59,000 players today.
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International Floorball Federation

The International Floorball Federation (IFF) is a global organisation committed to developing and promoting the sport of Floorball (sometimes referred to innebandy, salibandy, unihockey). Floorball is a fast growing sport played indoors. The IFF was founded in 1986 and has 54 Member Associations. A partnership agreement was signed with Special Olympics on 9 December 2011 to promote and develop Floorball among Special Olympics athletes.



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Tennis Europe

Tennis Europe (TE) comprises of 49 European member nations and is the largest regional association of the sport's governing body, the International Tennis Federation. Tennis Europe and Special Olympics Europe Eurasia formed an official partnership on 24 March 2012 with the aim of developing Tennis for players with intellectual disabilities.




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The Union of European Football Associations

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA ) the governing body for 53 European football responsible to its members for the governing of the sport of football in accordance with its constitution, statutes and technical rules and for the sanctioning and staging of certain football matches, represents the national football associations of Europe. SOEE has a long-standing partnership (since 1998), with aim to promotes football for players with intellectual disabilities

Since 1999, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia (SOEE), in partnership with UEFA under Football Social Responsibility Program - UEFA We Care and currently UEFA Respect, has achieved significant progress towards expansion of football opportunities for people with intellectual disability in 58 Special Olympics European Programs/countries: Expanded SOEE football programme from 30,000 to over 133,000 participants; Special Olympics Football programmes started in East and South East Europe; Established network of National Football Coordinators and Ambassadors; Bi-annual European conferences; Annual Special Olympics European Football Week with 50,000 participants, over 400 events in 50 countries each year; Organized 20 European-level football competitions for 6000 participants; Production of 6 training and coaches education DVD’s; Distribution of over 300 grants to 50 countries; Launched Unified Football initiative in 30 European Programs, with major focus on Youth Unified Football and Inclusion through football for 20,000 participants; Showcases at UEFA EURO 2008 & 2012 and UEFA Champions Festivals.
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Euroleague Basketball

Euroleague Basketball a global leader in sports management, is enjoying its second decade of sustained growth as an innovative organizer of elite competitions and events. Euroleague Basketball was founded in 2000 and it now manages the continent's two premier basketball competitions, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and the Eurocup, consisting of more than 60 teams from as many as 25 countries.

Euroleague Baketball, has committed to promote the Special Olympics movement in Europe in 2009. Since that year regularly under the slogan 'Basketball for Everyone', Euroleague use the visibility of the league, players and teams to promote basketball for people with intellectual disabilities across Europe mainly during annual Final Four and Special Olympics European Basketball Weeks with dedicated games.
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Euroleague One Team

Launched in 2012, the Euroleague One Team programme combines the efforts and support of its partners to use the sport of basketball to create positive social change. One Team is the new corporate social responsibility (CSR) and marketing partnership program developed by Euroleague Basketball together with its member clubs and supported by Turkish Airlines. One Team is a best in class CSR programme, drawing from best case examples in the world of sport as well as our own innovation.

Special Olympics become an Official Partner of One Team, Euroleague Basketball's acclaimed corporate social responsibility programme, at the second annual One Team workshop in Barcelona on 7 November 2012. The partnership enhances a long-term relationship with Special Olympics through the Euroleague Final Four collaborations to take that further through the One Team program and turn that relationship into a year-round partnership, work together on a number of initiatives involving on-the-ground projects, skills exchanges and mutual support.
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European Volleyball Confederation

The European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) is the supporting organisation responsible for governing 55 National Federations throughout Europe and is recognized as such by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). The CEV has the authority and responsibility for organizing all European competitions in Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. A partnership agreement between CEV and Special Olympics Europe Eurasia was signed on 14 May 2012.