Thousands of athletes, families and fans will be coming to Florida for the Special Olympics USA Games in June 2022.
Special Olympics North America and Special Olympics Florida are proud to announce Orlando, Florida has been officially awarded and named the host city for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Taking place from June 5 through June 10 in 2022, more than 4,000 athletes, 10,000 volunteers, 1,500 coaches, and 20,000 families and fans from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will travel across the U.S. to unite and participate in one of the world’s most cherished sporting events – the Special Olympics USA Games.
The Games will be comprised of 15 Olympic-type team and individual sports, as well as 5 potential demonstration sports. The Games will be hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, the YMCA Aquatic Center, the U.S. Tennis Association campus in Lake Nona, and other sporting facilities across the Orlando area.
Central Florida has long been known as a welcoming destination for families and boasts some of the world’s most famed attractions, including world-class experiences and sporting venues. Beyond that, Florida itself is renowned for its hospitality, making it the ideal location for the unifying and inspiring Special Olympics Games. The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games will mark the largest humanitarian event in Florida’s history. Additionally, the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics Florida.
“After a year-long bid process, we are proud that so many of our athletes, coaches, volunteers, families and fans will get to visit Florida for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games,” said Joe Dzaluk, President and CEO of 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. “Special Olympics serves as an organization empowering people with intellectual disabilities. This monumental endeavor will create a pivotal stage for Special Olympics and brings to light the passionate work Floridians have long been doing, including helping the outstanding athletes achieve their dreams and promote health, education, inclusion and acceptance.”
Hosting the Games in the Orlando area not only builds excitement among the thousands of athletes and patrons, but it comes with the potential to generate as much as $61 million dollars in economic impact for the Orlando area.
“We are beyond delighted here at Special Olympics Florida that so many Special Olympics athletes and families will be coming to our awe-inspiring city of Orlando,” said Sherry Wheelock, President and CEO of Special Olympics Florida. “For years, the USA Games have inspired thousands of people through the power of sports, and it is our goal here in Florida to continue the tradition by connecting, promoting and motivating individuals by showcasing our commitment to those with intellectual disabilities and our passion for education, health and sports.
“Hosting the prestigious event – the Special Olympics USA Games, whose core mission is to transform the lives of those living with intellectual disabilities through sports is an honor and something we are eager to host here in our great state of Florida,” said Florida Gov., Rick Scott. “Special Olympics USA Games are held every four years and we are proud thousands of respected athletes will be coming to our state and will have the opportunity to fulfill their ultimate dreams and goals right here in Florida.”
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5 million athletes and Unified partners in more than 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including the Christmas Records Trust, the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics, The Coca-Cola Company, United Airlines, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, Microsoft, Lions Clubs International, Bank of America, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, Safilo Group, and TOYOTA. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium.