USA and World Games

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SPECIAL OLYMPICS WORLD GAMES
ABU DHABI 2019

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Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates will be the host of the 2019 Sepcial Olympics World Summer Games and Unified teammates Kenneth Richter and Steve Manzone from Connecticut will be there to compete in Bocce!

In addition, Connecticut's own Derrick Ford and Kevin Smith have been selected to serve as Coaches for these World Games and Laurie-Jean Hannon, Vice President of Sports and Local Programs for Special Olympics Connecticut will serve as Assistant Sports Manager.

The Games will be held March 14 - 21, 2019 and more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries are expected to compete in 24 summer sports. The athletes will be supported by 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 will kick-off with a star-studded Opening Ceremony in the iconic Zayed Sports City Stadium int he heart of Abu Dhabi, the largest sports venue in the Persian Gulf in addition to sports competition, the 2019 World Games will feature additional activities and programs including Unified Sports® experiences, free Healthy Athletes screenings, a Genuin Global Youth Summit and the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

To learn more about our delegation going to the Games and support its members, click here.

COMING UP: The Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Florida, June 5-11, 2022!

ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS USA AND WORLD GAMES
Alternating between summer and winter, the Special Olympics World Games are one of the world's largest sporting events, drawing as many, if not more, athletes than the Olympics.

Every two years since 1968, athletes from all nations have gathered to celebrate sport and showcase the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. This prominent world stage brings attention to the Special Olympics movement and helps create positive - sometimes lifesaving - policy change for people with intellectual disabilities in countries around the world.

In 2006, the first USA Games were held in Ames, Iowa as an opportunity to showcase the talents of athletes from throughout the United States. The USA Games are now held every four years offering summer sports for thousands of athletes to participate in with their peers.

CRITERIA FOR ADVANCEMENT TO HIGHER LEVEL COMPETITION
In order for an athlete or a partner to be eligible for selection to Team Connecticut, they must qualify under the guidelines of Article I., Section K Criteria for Advancement to Higher Level of Competition in the Special Olympics Sports Rules Book as found on Specialolympics.org. As stated in Section K, No. 3.d.1, priority is given to first place finishers from all divisions of the sport/event.

Prior to the selection process, Special Olympics Connecticut requests a quota for either World or USA Games, based upon the sports offered at such competition, number of athletes competing in those sports at SOCT events and interchanging the sports offered over the years to provide increased opportunities.  Quota numbers are based upon budget constraints.

Athletes interested in applying for consideration of advancement to either World or USA Games must complete an Athlete/Partner Application Form to enter into a lottery system for selection to Team Connecticut.  Team sports for USA Games are selected through a try-out process.  All athletes applying for selection to Team Connecticut must have participated in their selected sport in the year prior to the actual application and lottery process.