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The Special Olympics World Games are an international sporting competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities, organized by the IOC-recognised Special Olympics organisation.

Special Olympics World Games
2003 Special Olympics Opening Crowd.JPG
The crowd at the Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremony in Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland, 2003
StatusActive
GenreSporting event
Date(s)Various
FrequencyEvery two years
CountryVarious
Inaugurated1968 (1968) (summer)
1977 (1977) (winter)
The mascot for the 2007 Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai, displayed in Pudong in front of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

PrinciplesEdit

Although local Special Olympics events and competitions are held around the world every day, the World Games are flagship events. The goal is to showcase the skills and accomplishments of people with intellectual disabilities on a global stage.[1] The World Games feature more than a week of competitions involving thousands of athletes. Through media coverage of the Games, the stories and achievements of children and adults with intellectual disabilities are made known to millions of people worldwide.[1]

Special Olympics World Games take place every two years and alternate between Summer and Winter Games, a schedule similar to the Olympics and Paralympics. Attracting as many as 350,000 volunteers and coaches, plus several thousands of athletes, these World Games can be the world's largest sporting event of the year.[1][2]

Special Olympics athletes can compete in 32 Olympic-style summer or winter sports. The athletes are adults and children with intellectual disabilities who can range from gifted, world-class competitors to average athletes to those with limited physical ability. It's a fundamental rule of Special Olympics competitions that athletes are matched up according to their ability and age. This “divisioning” process is an effort to make every competition fair, competitive and exciting for athletes as well as fans.[3]

HistoryEdit

The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held in Chicago, Illinois, US, in 1968, while the first International Special Olympics Winter Games were held in February 1977 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, US. In 1991, the name was officially changed from International Special Olympics Summer/Winter Games to Special Olympics World Summer/Winter Games.[4]

In 2011, Special Olympics World Summer Games were held on June 25 – July 4 in Athens, Greece, involving 6,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 170 countries.[2]

In 2013, the Special Olympics World Winter Games were held in PyeongChang, South Korea from Jan. 29 – Feb. 5. The Host Town program, in which families host Special Olympics athletes from around the world t 13.[5]

In 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games .[6] These games were the first Special Olympics World Summer Games held in the United States in 16 years since the 1999 Summer Games held in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Graz and Schladming in Styria, Austria. This marked a return: Salzburg and Schladming, Austria hosted the fifth Special Olympics World Winter Games in 1993. These were the first Special Olympics World Games held outside the United States. The 2017 World Winter Games were held on March 14-25, 2017. [7]

The recent Special Olympics World Summer Games were held March 14-21, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. These were the first Special Olympics World Games to be held in the Middle East/North Africa region.[8] Competitions were held in 24 sports.

Åre and Östersund, Sweden will host the next World Winter Games between February 2 to 13, 2021. It will mark the first time that Sweden has ever hosted the Special Olympics World Games.[9]

Berlin, Germany will host the next World Summer Games between June 16-25, 2023. It will mark the first time that Germany has ever hosted the Special Olympics World Games.[10]

HostsEdit

Special Olympics World Games hosts
Year Summer Special Olympics World Games Winter Special Olympics World Games
No. Host Date(s) No. Host Date(s)
1968 1   Chicago, United States July 20 – August 3
1970 2   Chicago, United States August 13 – 15
1972 3   Los Angeles, United States August 13 – 18
1975 4   Mount Pleasant, United States August 8 – 13
1977 1   Steamboat Springs, United States February 5 – 11
1979 5   Brockport, United States August 8 – 13
1981 2   Smugglers' Notch and Stowe, United States March 8 – 13
1983 6   Baton Rouge, United States July 12 – 18
1985 3   Park City, United States March 24 – 29
1987 7   Notre Dame and South Bend, United States July 31 – August 1
1989 4   Lake Tahoe and Reno, United States April 1 – 8
1991 8   Minneapolis and Saint Paul, United States July 19 – 27
1993 5   Salzburg and Schladming, Austria March 20 – 27
1995 9   New Haven, United States July 1 – 9
1997 6   Collingwood and Toronto, Canada February 1 – 8
1999 10   Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, United States June 26 – July 4
2001 7   Anchorage, United States March 4 – 11
2003 11   Dublin, Ireland June 21 – 29
2005 8   Nagano, Japan February 26 – March 4
2007 12   Shanghai, China October 2 – 11
2009 9   Boise, United States(1) February 6 – 13
2011 13   Athens, Greece June 25 – July 4
2013 10   Pyeongchang, Korea January 29 – February 5
2015 14   Los Angeles, United States July 25 – August 2
2017 11   Graz and Schladming, Austria March 14 – 25
2019 15   Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates March 14 – 21
2021 12   Jämtland County Sweden February 2 – 13
2023 16   Berlin, Germany June 16 – 25
2025 13   Turin, Italy TBD
1 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, was originally selected to host the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.[11] The city, however, later decided to withdraw from hosting, and Boise, Idaho, was selected to host the event instead.[12]

Official Summer SportsEdit

See footnote[13]

Official Winter SportsEdit

See footnote[13]

Recognized SportsEdit

Demonstration SportsEdit

  • Stick Shooting

Regional gamesEdit

Asia Pacific GamesEdit

In 2013, Australia hosted the first ever Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games.[14]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Special Olympics: World Games Overview". specialolympics.org.
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-23. Retrieved 2012-09-03. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Special Olympics: About Competitions Results Schedules". specialolympics.org.
  4. ^ "Special Olympics: History of Special Olympics". specialolympics.org.
  5. ^ "Welcome World Winter Games PyeongChang 2013". 2013sopoc.org. Archived from the original on 2012-08-17. Retrieved 2012-08-16. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games In Los Angeles 2015". La2015.org. Archived from the original on 2015-07-08. Retrieved 2012-08-16. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ Austria to host 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games. October 12, 2012. Special Olympics official website. Retrieved 2014-06-21.
  8. ^ http://www.abudhabi2019.org/
  9. ^ "Sweden selected to host the 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games". Special Olympics.
  10. ^ "Berlin, Germany selected to host the 2023 Special Olympics World Games". Special Olympics.
  11. ^ "2009 Special Olympics To Take Place In Sarajevo, Bosnia And Herzegovina". GamesBid.com. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  12. ^ McLaughlin, Micah (June 14, 2006). "Special Olympics come to Idaho in 2009". The Arbiter. The Arbiter. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  13. ^ a b Sports & Games. Special Olympics official website. Retrieved 2014-06-21.
  14. ^ Asia Pacific Games / Newcastle 2013. Special Olympics official website. Retrieved 2014-06-21.

External linksEdit