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Swimming

Special Olympics Puerto Rico swimmer Jose Cubilette competes in the 2012 Special Olympics World Aquatics Invitiational in Puerto Rico. Photo by Will Schermerhorn.

Special Olympics swimming is popular world wide. Stay up to date with swimming news, events and competition results on this page. You'll find links to coaching resources, too. It's all here.


00x200 Unified Sports Aquatics

Get an overview of the sport of Special Olympics swimming.  View the Aquatics Fact Sheet

Swimming is one of the most popular sports in world. Unlike other sports, swimming is a life skill that is taught, first, to ensure safety and, secondly, for sports and competition purposes. Aquatics covers a great variety of swimming skills, from short sprints to longer events and relays. And the Aquatics coaching guide (below) gives coaches advice and approaches to successfully coach swimmers of all abilities, from strong, fast competitors to swimmers who find it hard to swim at all.

Open Water Swimming
Special Olympics has a growing number of athletes around the world taking part in open water swimming, a sport in which swimmers race in bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and oceans instead of pools.  Read the coaching guide and see stories and upcoming events by visiting the Open Water Swimming page.

Partnership with the Michael Phelps Foundation
Special Olympics has a partnership with the Michael Phelps Foundation and has appointed the international swimming legend as a Special Olympics Global Ambassador. The Michael Phelps Foundation will expand its signature “IM” with Special Olympics that will bring water safety, recreational aquatic activities, and health, wellness and goal-setting instruction to Special Olympic athletes across the world.


Swimming Stories and News


July 11, 2015 | North America: Florida

Michael has a place he now belongs

By Paula Mueller

My son Michael is 18 years old. Taught him at a very young age. We always knew he loved swimming and was a fish in water. Tried a swim team a few years back, he wouldn't stay on task.View Story My son Michael is 18 years old. Taught him at a very young age. We always knew he loved swimming and was a fish in water. Tried a swim team a few years back, he wouldn't stay on task. This year we got connected with Special Olympics Polk County Florida. I went into this thinking what ever is, well, is! When said, "you never know", it is exactly that! He still needed a bit of redirect but HE DID IT! He trained, he did the laps...we had a few grunts but how PROUD was I. This was the moment he was ready for. Love you Mikey and very proud of you!!!!!

About Paula Mueller:I am the mother of Michael Mueller. I have been trying for years to help Michael find what would interest him. To broaden his social interactions, participate, gain self-esteem, self confidence and learn that when you do great thing, comes great rewards.
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June 02, 2015 | North America: Maryland

ESPN: Phelps Clinic with LA2015 Swimmers

By ESPN

ESPN Reporter Amy Rosewater wrote: Michael Phelps is using his star power as the world's most decorated Olympian to grow the sport and teach children and young adults all over the world.View Story ESPN Reporter Amy Rosewater wrote: Michael Phelps is using his star power as the world's most decorated Olympian to grow the sport and teach children and young adults all over the world. And he spent Saturday at that same swim club to share the techniques he used as a youngster with five swimmers who will compete at the Special Olympics World Games, which will be held July 25-Aug. 2 in Los Angeles (ESPN, WatchESPN). The athletes traveled to Baltimore from as nearby as Berwyn Heights, Maryland, and as far away as Omaha, Nebraska.

About ESPN:ESPN is the official presenting sponsor of Special Olympics
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May 01, 2015 | Latin America: El Salvador

Special Olympics Sports Tournaments in El Salvador

By Daniela Recinos

Special Olympics El Salvador is developing different tournaments to keep our athletes active.View Story Special Olympics El Salvador is developing different tournaments to keep our athletes active. Swimming, rhythmic and artistic gymnastics, and had developed a Multi-Sports City Arena. On the other hand, the Bocce Tournament was held on the court of the Sports Palace. In both events SO El Salvador had the support of volunteers from Francisco Gavidia University and Cuscatlan Rugby Scout Movement.

About Daniela Recinos:Voluntaria de comunicaciones.
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Aquatics/Swimming Competitions

2014 European Summer Games

The Special Olympics European Summer Games featured 10 sports and 58 delegations, making the 2014 Games one of the largest ever. See stories and results


2014 Canada Summer Games

The Special Olympics 2014 Canada Summer Games was the largest Canadian Games ever. See results and teams.


2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.


2014 Southern California Summer Invitational Games

Special Olympics athletes from Southern California and from around the world competed in Los Angeles. See results and teams.


2013 Asia Pacific Games

Athletes from 30 Asia Pacific and East Asia regions compete in the inaugural Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games. Get schedules and results.


World Aquatics Invitational 2012

The first Special Olympics World Aquatics Invitational took place in September in San Juan, Puerto Rico. See results from the competition.


2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.


How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.

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Videos and Photos

Coaching in SerbiaCoaches from three countries met in Serbia to hone their skills.See slideshow »


Videos and Photos

In Deep WaterGo feet first for one of the newest Special Olympics sports.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

First Unity CupSpecial Olympics uses football to promote understanding.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »



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