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.

Unified Sports

Unified Sports®

Team sports bring people together. Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams do that, too and much more. Half a million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way.

Social Inclusion Through Sports

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, which 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, but more and more U.S. states are adopting the unified sports approach that Special Olympics pioneered. The governor of New Jersey just signed a bill into law that encourages schools to make opportunities for sports participation available to all students. Special Olympics New Jersey, which championed the new law, is cited in the new law as a consulting organization. For almost 20 years, Special Olympics has offered sport teams that blend people with and without intellectual disabilities, and that is a model that encourages sports and fun, and which also gets people together to learn more about each other. Read more about the new law in our press release. 

Building Unified Sports With ESPN and Disney 

The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Special Olympics have announced a two-year global initiative that will leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance through the Special Olympics Unified Sports program. With a multi-million dollar financial and in-kind investment, Disney and ESPN will support Special Olympics' goal of registering one million Unified Sports participants--athletes with intellectual disabilities, teammates without intellectual disabilities and coaches--by 2015. Read more about this exciting news

In addition, thanks to the generosity of Special Olympics Board Member Kim Samuel and her family's foundation, Special Olympics has been able to build capacity for Unified Sports through technology, enhanced education materials and seed grants to Special Olympics Programs that would not otherwise have the funds to start or expand Unified Sports.

Quizzes

Unified Sports® Events

  • Jan 07 - Jan 21
    2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games
    clock
    Mon Jan 7 - Mon Jan 21, 2019
     
    location
    5 venues
    United Arab Emirates

    2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games

    clock
    Mon Jan 7 - Mon Jan 21, 2019
     

    The Games in Abu Dhabi will be the world's largest humanitarian and sporting event of 2019. The Board unanimously voted to award the World Games to Abu Dhabi based on a comprehensive bid proposal, a site visit by a Board Committee, and the country's vision to create inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. That vision begins with the United Arab Emirates and extends to their region and the world. The UAE is close to Asia, the Middle East and Africa, so the Games are expected to have a very broad benefit.


    Contact information
    Venue(s)
    location
    Aquatics Palace
    1 Swimmingly Lane
    Aquacity, Abu Dhabi
    United Arab Emirates
    All swimming events will occur in this venue.
    location
    Field Sport Palace
    23 Field Sport Avenue
    Fieldcity, Abu Dhabi
    United Arab Emirates
    All field sports will occur in this venue
    Show all Venues
  • Do You Have An Event to Add?

    Tell us about it so we can publish it on the site!

    RAFAEL WAS HERE