Special Olympics

The Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023
Image @SOWG_Berlin2023

Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023: 50 days to go.

Berlin will host the Special Olympics World Games- the largest inclusive sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in June.

Special Olympics

The Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023
Image @SOWG_Berlin2023

In June 2023, Germany will host the Special Olympics World Games- the world’s largest inclusive sports event where thousands of athletes with intellectual disabilities compete in 26 sports.

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What is the Special Olympics World Games?

Starting in 1968, 1000 athletes from the USA and Canada partook in the first Special Olympic World Games. Now held every two years, the Special Olympics World Games brings together athletes with intellectual disabilities from around the world for nine days of exciting and inspiring competitions by athletes and for athletes.

The games are officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee. With the aim to achieve greater recognition and social participation of people with intellectual disabilities in our society today, the Games play a big part in intellectual inclusion and diversity. So much so that everyone who takes part gets a medal because it really isn’t about winning but taking part.

In addition to the traditional sports classifications the Games also embrace Unified Sports®. These sports join people with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team. Teams are made up of people of similar ages and abilities.

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Berlin 2023

Berlin will host the Special Olympics World Games from 16 to 25 June 2023. This will be the first time that Germany will host these Games. 7 000 Special Olympic athletes from about 170 countries are expected. They will be supported by over 3 000 coaches and 20 000 volunteers.

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The following sports will feature in the Special Olympics World Games:

  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Basketball 3×3
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Bocce
  • Bowling
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian
  • Field Hockey
  • Football
  • Futsal
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics- Artistic
  • Gymnastics- Rhythmic
  • Handball
  • Judo
  • Kayaking
  • Open Water Swimming
  • Powerlifting
  • Roller Skating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

Follow the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) for more information about Team South Africa.