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    The 2018 USA Games were a big hit in Seattle!

    Athletes from across the U.S. competed in 14 summer sports from July 1-6.

2018 USA Games

More than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia took part in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games from July 1-6, 2018. Thousands of volunteers, family members and fans were there to participate and cheer.


The 2018 USA Games celebrated the Special Olympics movement and its 50th anniversary; promoted the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport; and showcased the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. The 2018 USA Games also highlighted Special Olympics’ work in sport, education, health and community-building.

ESPN, the official media partner of the 2018 USA Games, broadcasted the July 1 Opening Ceremony on ABC. Kevin Negandhi hosted ESPN’s coverage, which included daily shows covering athlete stories, competition showcases, interviews and more.

ESPN also produced live daily streaming coverage of swimming competition on ESPN3, extensive news, video and information on ESPN.com, ESPN App; and a Vignette Series across ESPN platforms.


The July 1 Opening Ceremony was a once-in-a-lifetime event! Spectators were immersed in the spirit of the Pacific Northwest while witnessing traditions such as the Parade of Athletes and the lighting of the Special Olympics Flame of Hope. Actor-singer Taye Diggs emceed. Performers included Charlie Puth, Marshmello, Allen Stone, Ann Wilson of Heart and more.

Speakers included Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver. The USA Games choir served as a living backdrop to the show.

More about Opening Ceremony.
Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver emphasizes the importance of "leading with your heart" during the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics USA Games.


Special Olympics athletes from across the USA competed at venues across Greater Seattle during nearly a week of competitions in 14 team and individual sports. Athletes competed in team and individual sports in the best sports facilities in the area: the University of Washington, Seattle University, Seattle Pacific University, King County Aquatic Center, Willows Run Golf Club, Celebration Park, Angle Lake and Kenmore Lanes.

More on USA Games sports competitions and schedules.


The 2018 USA Games also featured a number of special events. These included: Opening & Closing Ceremonies, the Law Enforcement Torch Run, the ESPN/Special Olympics Unified Sports Challenge; Healthy Athletes; Young Athletes; the Future of Inclusion Forum—and much more.

Things kicked off with the Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg on June 27. Nearly 50 law enforcement officers and six Special Olympics athletes carried the Special Olympics Flame of Hope throughout Washington state. They then lit the cauldron at the July 1 Opening Ceremony at Husky Stadium.

More info other USA Games events.