Countdown to the Games
17-25 June 2023

Friends of the Games

The Friends of the Games are public figures and celebrities who are strongly supporting our cause. Among them are well-known people from the areas of sports, entertainment and media.

They all have one thing in common: the desire to set an example for inclusion as part of the Special Olympics movement.

Would you like to use your reach for a good cause, too?


The photo shows the German tennis player Andreas Mies. He has his hands on his hips and is looking friendlytowards the camera.

Andreas Mies

Tennis player

"I am always impressed by the warmth Special Olympics athletes radiate when competing. The Special Olympics World Games in Berlin will be a great sporting event - be a part of it!"

German fashion designer Anja Gockel can be seen in the photo. She is sitting in an armchair, wearing a black dress and laughing merrily.

Anja Gockel

Fashion designer

“Diversity and inclusion play a huge role in fashion now. My fashion aims to make every women feel good in her skin, regardless of her age, her origin or her physical and intellectual abilities.“

The photo shows German florist and TV personaliry Björn Kroner with his dog Rummel. Kroner wears a colorful sacko and smiles at the camera.

Björn Kroner

Florist and TV presenter

"Through my brother who lives with Down syndrome, I know how much strength it takes to build a self-determined life. Not letting it get you down, setting goals and achieving them, that totally inspires me."

The photo shows the German fencer Britta Heidemann. She has both arms raised in jubilation and is wearing an Olympic silver medal around her neck.

Britta Heidemann

Olympic champion fencing

"The Special Olympics World Games are a great experience and a great example: passion, encounter, joy. Sport can do all that. I won't miss the chance to be there in Berlin."

The photo shows the former German track and field athlete Christian Schenk. He wears a suit and looks directly into the camera.

Christian Schenk

Olympic champion decathlon

"Discovering common ground in things that seem contrary, which already fascinated me as a decathlete and social manager, now excites me as a Friend of the Games."

In the photo, German soccer referee Deniz Aytekin is standing in front of a gray wall with his arms folded and wearing a plain black outfit. He looks friendly towards the camera.

Deniz Aytekin

Football referee

“I support Special Olympics because every human being deserves to be seen.”

The photo shows former basketball player Detlef Schrempf with a basketball under his arm. He is laughing merrily.

Detlef Schrempf

Former NBA player

"The passion for sports and the team spirit among Special Olympics athletes is truly unique. Every one of us should support the athletes and people with intellectual disabilities in achieving their goals – whether it may be in sports, their profession or in everyday life."

The photo shows the former German basketball player Dirk Nowitzki. He wears a plain black T-shirt and smiles friendly into the camera.

Dirk Nowitzki

NBA champion

„I am always impressed by the extraordinary achievements of athletes with disabilities. They deserve such a stage and the corresponding support. For that, I am very happy to be there as a Friend of the Games Berlin 2023!“

The photo shows Miss Germany 2022 Domitila Barros. She is wearing a plain white outfit and smiling at the camera.

Domitila Barros

Miss Germany 2022

“Social justice is an issue that is very dear to me. Let’s see one another as equals, let’s value and respect one another on our journey to a more inclusive world. I’m proud to be part of the Special Olympics movement!”

The photo shows Elisabeth Röhm, actress and supporter of the Special Olympics movement. She has her hands on the side of her head and is looking directly into the camera.

Elisabeth Röhm


"I know that the principles of Special Olympics and especially of the athletes can make a big difference. My connection with Special Olympics inspires me every day."

The photo shows Florian Langenscheidt, a German publisher, book author, speaker and venture capitalist. He is standing outside in a blue suit.

Florian Langenscheidt

Publisher and book author

“You just have to watch old films from former Special Olympics World Games: It’s hardly possible to have more excitement and laughter around. That’s why I love being part of it!”

The photo shows the former German figure skater Katarina Witt. She smiles at the camera and wears a black blazer.

Katarina Witt

Member World Games Committee, Olympic champion figure skating

“During my sports career, I received a lot of support which I’m very grateful for. Since the World Games take place almost next to my front door, I just have to be part of it and help out.”

The photo shows the Olympic Champion in track cycling Kristina Vogel. She is sitting in her wheelchair with her legs crossed and smiling, wearing a black blazer.

Kristina Vogel

Olympic champion track cycling

"As a former athlete, I firmly believe that sport can change the world. Diversity is an asset to our society. That includes physical and intellectual disabilities."

The photo shows the German actress Lea Marlen Woitack. She is sitting on an armchair, looking at the camera and wearing a blue turtleneck sweater.

Lea Marlen Woitack


"We are aware of how important it is for every human being to feel represented. The film industry is an especially important vehicle for showing diversity and anchoring it in society. As a professor, actress and human, I am committed to this."

The photo shows Lena Gohlisch, a German basketball player, wearing her jersey of Alba Berlin and holding a basketball.

Lena Gohlisch

Basketball player

"After competing in the 3x3 basketball tournament at the first Youth Olympics in Singapore, I am now super excited to be part of the Olympic movement again in my hometown Berlin as a Friend of the Games."

The photo shows the German pop singer Lukas Rieger. He wears a grey World Games hoodie and smiles towards the camera.

Lukas Rieger

Singer and influencer

"I am very happy to be able to support the Special Olympics World Games. The Games are very close to my heart and I am looking forward to seeing you all in Berlin!"

The photo shows the German running influencer Maren Schiller. She has long blonde hair, sits relaxed at a window and looks into the camera.
Jakob Nawka

Maren Schiller

Running influencer

"I support the Special Olympics because visibility is important and I want to be part of a common journey towards a more inclusive world. I think it's great that the World Games are taking place right on my doorstep, too."

In the photo, Mieze, the lead singer of the German band MiA. is sitting cool on a wooden bench. In her hands she holds an upcycled bag from the Special Olympics Shop.


Singer of the band MiA.

„We want to be part of a society that is aware of its diversity, makes it visible and considers the dignity and rights of all equally. And we want to be involved in creating such a society.“

The photo shows the photographer Mike Meyer. He waves in the direction of the camera and also holds a camera in his hands while laughing.

Mike Meyer


"Thrust ahead in togetherness! I am really looking forward to being able to capture wonderful moments of coming together. Special Olympics are pure joy of life. See you at the Games in Berlin."

In the photo, Natalie Dedreux, a German activist, journalist and blogger who mainly stands for the inclusion of people with Down Syndrome, is smiling at the camera. She is wearing a mustard yellow jacket and red glasses.

Natalie Dedreux

Activist and journalist

„Yes, I’m a Friend of the Games, because the Special Olympics World Games are all about inclusion. But they’re also about social participation and making people with disabilities visible. Those are things I fight for, too!”

The photo shows the face of former German soccer player Philipp Lahm. He smiles friendly into the camera.

Philipp Lahm

Member World Games Committee, former footballer

“Inclusion is always a big word. As a volunteer at Special Olympics, you have a unique opportunity to put inclusion into action.”

The photo shows the former German discus athlete Robert Harting wearing a suit and smiling friendly towards the camera.

Robert Harting

Olympic champion discus

“In 2000, I participated as a referee at the finish line for Special Olympics. The joy and happiness which the athletes have experienced remain in my head until this day. Diversity and solidarity are an enrichment for all of us.”

The photo shows Steffi Graf, the German tennis legend. She wears a plain white sweater and looks friendly into the camera.

Steffi Graf

Olympic champion tennis

“Volunteering means working together. If we work together, we can achieve more than on our own.“

The photo shows German entrepreneur, founder and author Verena Pausder. She is wearing a black shirt, has her arms are crossed in front of her body and she is smiling slightly towards the camera.

Verena Pausder

Entrepreneur and author

"Equality and inclusion are important every single day. I want to help spread that message and help make the world a more inclusive and equitable place – also after the World Games in Berlin."


Would you like to support us as a Friend of the Games and spread the message for more inclusion and participation?
Then contact us at

More ambassadors

Special Olympics has many famous supporters worldwide, which once again underlines how important our movement is.

Here is an overview of the ambassadors of Special Olympics International (SOI):

SOI Ambassadors

Special Olympics Germany (SOD) is also supported by many important people:

SOD Ambassadors

Our supporter Laureus is also committed to spreading the Special Olympics movement - and has many successful athletes on board: