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Team Australia Wins Big at the 2023 Special Olympics in Berlin

Last month, 64 amazing Australian athletes who live with intellectual disabilities travelled to Berlin to participate in the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Last month, 64 amazing Australian athletes who live with intellectual disabilities travelled to Berlin to participate in the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games. They came home as champions, sharing 59 medals (15 gold, 21 silver, and 23 bronze).

They competed in athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, swimming, and tennis, alongside 7,000 other competitors from 190 delegations around the world.

They truly embodied the motto of the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games – #UnbeatableTogether.

Athletes in green, white, and gold shirts walking through the airport with a crowd holding up signs and balloons, giving high-fives.
Team Australia received an enthusiastic welcome home after their success at the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Credit: Special Olympics Australia

And now, preparations begin for the 2027 Special Olympics World Summer Games, hosted in Perth after a successful bid by Special Olympics Australia. The Games have never been held in the Southern Hemisphere before, and will attracted an estimated 8,000 athletes and 500,000 spectators to Western Australia.

Tanya Brown, Chair of the World Games 2027 Bid Committee, said: “The World Games is not just a sporting event; it is so much more. It is a whole-of-community, global event that offers competitive sports as well as a range of off-field activities such as research and policy symposia, leadership gathering, the Law Enforcement Torch Run, and health screenings.”

“It is fitting for such a sport loving nation that, through the catalyst of sport, we can achieve systemic change for our nation and change views, change lives, change our nation, and change the world.”

About the Special Olympics: Special Olympics Australia is part of a global inclusion movement that uses sport, health, education, and leadership programs to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. While the Paralympics is for elite athletes who mainly live with physical disabilities, Special Olympics is open to everyone with intellectual disability. The Special Olympics isn’t just a major sports event; they also provide year-round training and support at all levels, with opportunities for participants to learn new skills, develop networks, and accomplish goals.

The Bowling Team (L-R Angela Fowler, Brooke Greenhalgh, Michael Wheatley, and Robert Goodrem) wearing their medals together at the Special Olympics 2023
The Bowling Team (L-R Angela Fowler, Brooke Greenhalgh, Michael Wheatley, and Robert Goodrem) were thrilled to win the first medal for Australia at the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Credit: Special Olympics Australia

Find out more about local Special Olympics Australia programs via their website.

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