• A runner reaches high in triumph at the end of a race

    World & Regional Games Center

    Major Special Olympics competitions around the world each year bring together athletes seeking to be best in their sports.

  • A snowboarder zooms past a blurred blue flag

    World & Regional Games Center

    Major Special Olympics competitions around the world each year bring together athletes seeking to be best in their sports.

  • A team of athletes in tropical shirts cheer in unison

    World & Regional Games Center

    Major Special Olympics competitions around the world each year bring together athletes seeking to be best in their sports.

2019 World Games Abu Dhabi

The first World Games in the Middle East

The countdown has begun to the 2019 Special Olympics World Games, set for 14-21 March in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. More than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will compete in 24 summer sports, along with 2,500 coaches and 20,000 volunteers. These will be the first Special Olympics World Games in the Middle East/North Africa region. The 2019 World Games kick off with a star-studded Opening Ceremony in the iconic Zayed Sports City Stadium in the heart of Abu Dhabi, the largest sports venue in the Persian Gulf. In addition to sports competition, the 2019 World Games will feature inspiring non-sports activities and programs, including Unified Sports experiences, free Healthy Athletes screenings, a GenUin Global Youth Summit, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Learn more about the 2019 Games

Upcoming Competitions

  • Jul 17 - Jul 22
    Special Olympics 50th Anniversary
    clock
    Tue Jul 17 - Sun Jul 22, 2018
     
    location
    3 venues
    USA

    Special Olympics 50th Anniversary

    clock
    Tue Jul 17 - Sun Jul 22, 2018
     

    The spark that became today's Special Olympics movement ignited at the first 1968 International Summer Games in Chicago, Ill., USA. Five decades later, we are returning to Chicago to launch the year-long Special Olympics 50th Anniversary celebrations. Here's what we have planned so far: From 17 to 21 July, the inaugural Special Olympics Unified Football Cup competition will team people with and without intellectual disabilities from all over the world. A total of 24 teams -- from every region of the world -- will take part. These include 16 men's teams and eight women's teams. On 20 July, The Special Olympics 50th Anniversary Law Enforcement Torch Run Commemorative Run will include Special Olympics athletes and law enforcement officers from Illinois and elsewhere. On 22 July, in Chicago and around the world, a day for everyone to celebrate the history of Special Olympics and its bright future. Athletes from the first 1968 Games will be joined by today's athletes to tell their stories of empowerment. Members of the public, Special Olympics families and others come together on the playing field for Unified Sports experiences. Change the Game Day will be a global festival of togetherness and sharing for all. Join us as we play together, learn from each other, and chart an inspiring course for the future!


    Venue(s)
    location
    Unified Football Cup
    Toyota Park
    7000 Harlem Ave
    Bridgeview, Illinois
    USA
    From 17 to 21 July, the Special Olympics Unified Football Cup competition will team people with and without intellectual disabilities from all over the world.
    location
    50th Anniversary Torch Run
    Throughout the City
    Route to be announced
    Chicago, Illinois
    USA
    On 20 July, Commemorative Run will include Special Olympics athletes and law enforcement officers from Illinois and elsewhere.
    Show all Venues
  • Mar 14 - Mar 21
    2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games
    clock
    Thu Mar 14 - Thu Mar 21, 2019
     
    location
    Zayed Sports City
    Abu Dhabi
    United Arab Emirates

    2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games

    clock
    Thu Mar 14 - Thu Mar 21, 2019
     

    Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, will be the host of the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The Games will be held 14 to 21 March in 2019. The Games will span seven days of competition. About 7,000 athletes from more than 170 countries are invited to attend. The Games will feature competition in 24 sports.


    Venue(s)
    location
    Opening Ceremony

    Zayed Sports City Stadium
    Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi
    United Arab Emirates
    Zayed Sports City Stadium, is an iconic multi-purpose stadium located in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is the largest stadium in the UAE with more than 43,000 seats.
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