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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


April 09, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Egypt

Ayman & Amir “A story of life challenges”

By Noha Gaballa

Ayman Celebrating his achievement

Ayman was born with a smile that captures attention; he used to listen to songs, and all the noise around him, without paying attention to others around.View Story Ayman was born with a smile that captures attention; he used to listen to songs, and all the noise around him, without paying attention to others around. Ayman’s mother went to a physician who assured her that he’s still young and there was no need to worry. Amir, the younger brother of Ayman, reached 6 months and had the same symptoms like Ayman but his condition was worse. This time their mother decided to wait to see if her doubts were true or only illusions. After a period of time, she was totally sure that her 2 sons had autism and she decided to be totally devoted to them. She engaged them in sport where they accomplished big progress. Ayman started to prepare for his first-ever competition in Swimming. She didn’t believe that Ayman would compete in such a big competition and he surprised her by winning the gold medal. Then he was selected to participate in 2014 8th Special Olympics Middle East-North Africa Games in Cairo and got gold medals and raised the name of Egypt.

About Noha Gaballa:Noha Gaballa: Special Olympics Middle East-North Africa staff
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March 20, 2015 | Middle East North Africa: Lebanon

Sarah "The Lebanese Water Girl" is getting ready for LA

By Noha Gaballa

Sarah celebrates another swimming victory.

“I’m going to win, grab the gold medal and achieve my goal,” said Sarah, a 24- year-old swimmer with Special Olympics Lebanon. She has been engaged in swimming since she was 6, and prefers swimming short sprints in freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly.View Story “I’m going to win, grab the gold medal and achieve my goal,” said Sarah, a 24- year-old swimmer with Special Olympics Lebanon. She has been engaged in swimming since she was 6, and prefers swimming short sprints in freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly. Her love of the water is the reason why she has turned out to be a real champion. Moreover, she attended and passed advanced courses in swimming which were given by famous world champion swimmers in Europe. Sarah is a teachers assistant in the nursery; she trains young children and helps them in all their daily activities. Furthermore, she got a certificate in a hotel management course. Sara participated in many Special Olympics regional and world games that took place in Egypt, Syria, Greece and Chin,a and she returned back every time with gold medals. Her next stop is Los Angeles for the the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, starting July 25. She gathered all her medals, trophies cups and displayed it in one place and she said that she will try to find out a bigger place after she is back from LA with new medals.

About Noha Gaballa:I am a writer for Special Olympics in the Middle East-North Africa Region.
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March 11, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

I'm Fernendo Rios and I'm a Champion

By Paola Martinelli

Fernando started participating in athletics, basketball and swimming – his current sport. His family, teachers and friends are very pleased with the accomplishments that Fernando has had thanks to his perseverance and effort.View Story Fernando Rios Duran was born in Villa Avila Camacho, Xicotepec - Puebla on April 7, 1995. His parents are Mrs. Gaona Epiphany Duran and Juan Vargas Rios. Fernando has a mild intellectual disability. When he was born he presented hypoxia, which resulted in disabilities in his motor development. Fernando began his story in Special Olympics in a event organized by the Movement near his school zone. He started participating in athletics, basketball and swimming – his current sport. His family, teachers and friends are very pleased with the accomplishments that Fernando has had thanks to his perseverance and effort. Fernando is very excited and he cannot believe that he will be traveling by plane; it is the first time he will travel by plane. He is also very excited to know another country and what motivates him the most is that he will make friends with people from different parts of the world.

About Paola Martinelli:Directora Nacional de Comunicación y Mercadotecnia
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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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