Special Olympics World Games Set for Takeoff

Special Olympics World Games Set for Takeoff
BWF Global Ambassador Peter Gade with fellow-great Wang Yihan during the last Special Olympics World Games in 2019.

Around 144 badminton players with intellectual disabilities in seven disciplines will take part in the Special Olympics World Games that begins in Berlin on Saturday 17 June 2023. The competition is scheduled from 21 to 24 June after the ‘divisioning’ process from 18 to 20 June, which ensures athletes compete against opponents of similar ability.

Badminton has been part of the Special Olympics World Games over the last two editions – at Los Angeles in 2015 and Abu Dhabi in 2019.

The players, along with 58 unified partners, hail from 70 countries, with all five continents represented.

The Special Olympics World Games is set for a colourful start on Saturday, with an opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium beginning 8.15pm local time. A parade of 190 delegations will kickstart the celebrations, which will include a performance of the official Games song ‘Are You Ready’ by the group Madcon.

The seven disciplines in which the competition will be held are: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles, unified sports men’s doubles and unified sports women’s doubles.

Apart from the competition, other activations will also be held.

  • A signing of the Special Olympics World Games Training Pledge will take place.

(The World Games Training Pledge encourages Special Olympics programmes and BWF’s Member Associations to train athletes competing at the World Games, as they celebrate, share and showcase the achievements of athletes while recognising one another as valued partners in the development of badminton for people with intellectual disabilities.)

  • 42 delegations will receive a Shuttle Time school kit.
  • Shuttle Time fun activities will be delivered to children aged 2-7 years.
  • AirBadminton Come & Try at the Special Olympics Festival from 18 to 25 June.
  • There will be a Meet & Greet and autograph session with former internationals Peter Gade and Marc Zwiebler on 20 June.

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