Special Olympics World Games 2023 in Berlin
Every two years, people of different nations, cultures, political and religious persuasions meet for the Special Olympics World Games, the world’s largest inclusive sports event – it takes place alternately as summer or as winter games. The Special Olympics World Summer Games stands out for nine days of exciting and inspiring competitions featuring thousands of athletes. The focus is on sports events where people with intellectual disabilities compete against one another and on contests that also include people without disabilities. The wideranging offerings, which in addition to sports also cover the fields of culture, education, science and healthcare, ensure that the Summer Games have an impact far beyond just the field of Sport.
The World Games will be the driver for establishing the very first “Unified Generation” in Germany. The Games are essential to link the topic of inclusion with great experiences and boost a willingness to implement the UN
Convention. This applies specifically to the education sector, where the creation of unified schools needs to be promoted. The World Games will be the occasion to launch a nationwide schools campaign. We will position ourselves here as the enduring partner in educational training for inclusive (school) sport.
The Games are crucial for us to further strengthen and professionalize the subprograms. They are the decisive step to reach more people with intellectual disabilities and enable greater options and opportunities locally. To date, we are only reaching 10% of the people with intellectual disabilities in Germany. We want to evolve far more strongly into a grassroots movement in which athletes and the partners are actors in their own organization and can act as equals in sports and society alike. To achieve the sustainable goals it is therefore key that we strengthen the local and state level activities and secure funding for work in the subprograms. To this end we are developing national programs and campaign days that will remain in place after the World Games. We aspire through the Volunteer program to involve people in our organization in the long term and motivate them to champion the co-existence of people with and without disabilities in everyday life.
We want to use the World Games to strongly stimulate advancing SOI and further underscore the value of the event itself. The Games will take place in the heart of the city against the impressive backdrop of Berlin. The competitions downtown and the opportunities for participation will allow us to reach people with and without disabilities in a special way. We will exploit the fact that Berlin is one of the most creative places worldwide.