Tennis superstar Sloane Stephens (center) shows her support for Special Olympics at the Women’s Tennis Association CITI Open event in Washington, D.C. alongside Special Olympics athletes.
Sport Partnerships

In 2018, Special Olympics celebrated the support of over 500 National Sport Federations and National Olympic Committees that help us bring the transformational power of sport to people with and without intellectual disabilities around the globe.

Through collaborative international sports federation partnerships, Special Olympics is able to expand its reach and increase participation for people of all abilities to discover new sports and showcase the importance of inclusion through sport in their communities.

This year, SOI signed partnership agreements with the International Skating Union (ISU), the International Cheerleading Union (ICU), Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Players from Borussia Dortmund visit the Unified football teams at the Special Olympics Unified Cup presented by Toyota.

With the support of these partnerships, Special Olympics continues to improve opportunities for Special Olympics athletes to perform at their best through quality training and competition led by highly trained coaches and officials. These partnerships brought about some of this year’s competition and training highlights at high-level events, including the WTA’s CITI Open in Washington, D.C. and the ICU World Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Florida. In addition, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) sanctioned the Special Olympics World Tennis Invitational in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, which brought together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to compete in a world class Unified tennis tournament.

At the Special Olympics Unified Cup presented by Toyota, national football federations and professional football clubs provided technical and promotional support for Unified football teams. Supporters for this groundbreaking event included:

  • Slovak Football Federation (SO Slovakia)
  • Americano Futebol Clube de Campos de Goytacazes (SO Brazil)
  • Bangladesh Football Federation (SO Bangladesh)
  • Nigerian Football Federation (SO Nigeria)
  • Italian Football Federation (SO Italy)
  • Kenya Football Federation (SO Kenya)
  • Sporting Kansas City (SO Kansas and SO Missouri)
  • FC Dallas/Houston Dynamo (SO Texas)
  • Ecuadorian Football Federation (SO Ecuador)
  • Borussia Dortmund (SO Germany)
  • FC Metz (SO France)
  • Club America (SO Mexico)
  • Nagoya Grampus (SO Nippon)
  • Delhi Dynamos (SO Bharat)
  • Chicago Fire (SO USA Illinois)