Countdown to the Games
17-25 June 2023

Host Town Program

170 nations - 170 inclusive communities

Berlin is where the music will be played in June 2023, but the orchestra will come from all over the country. The "Host Town Program" is a unique project that will welcome international athletes to the 2023 Special Olympics World Games. The 170 international delegations competing in the Games will each be welcomed into the country by a different community in Germany. The goal: 170 nations greeted by 170 inclusive communities.

The picture shows athletes celebrating and dancing.
A celebration for everyone

The whole of Germany will play a role in hosting the largest inclusive sporting event in the world. The Host Towns will organize a four-day stay, from June 11-14, that will highlight what their individual community has to offer. This could include a welcome party on the town hall square, joint sports activities, or excursions to places of interest; whatever special experiences the town would like to share with the visiting delegation. One important event has already been confirmed: the Special Olympics torch will pass through each of the host towns on its way to Berlin. 
 The photo shows an athlete forming a heart with her fingers.
Together on the path to inclusion

Even after the Games in Berlin have concluded, the fire of inclusion will not be extinguished. Each of the 170 inclusive communities participating in the Host Towns Program will get the chance to implement projects in cooperation with Special Olympics with the long-term goal of making people with intellectual disabilities more visible in sports and in society.
I am very much looking forward to meeting people from other countries and cultures. At the same time, I also want to show my home country to our guests from all over the world.
Stefanie Wiegel
athlete spokeswoman for Special Olympics NRW/Germany
The photo shows project manager Jennifer Schröder, athlete Godfred Winnersbach and Susanne Jahn, staff member of the Bremen state association.
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The photo shows athletes celebrating and dancing exuberantly.
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The photo shows a man and a woman dancing together and spinning in a circle.
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The photo shows a woman smiling and waving at the camera.
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The photo shows a music group playing the trumpet.
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In the photo there are two women on the beach laughing and forming the peace sign with their fingers.
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The photo shows five women dancing and wearing homemade headdresses.
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The photo shows a girl smiling at the camera.
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The photo shows an athlete forming a heart with her hands.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of being a Host Town?
The project is a great opportunity to get people in your own community excited about the topic of inclusion, while strengthening the community in the long run. You will also have the experience of learning more about other cultures as you host athletes from around the world.
Do the Host Town communities get support?
Yes! The organizers of the Special Olympics World Games are available to advise each community on the application, planning and implementation of each Host Town Program.
What does the Host Town application process look like?
  • January 15 to October 31, 2021: Application phase
  • January 2022: Announcement of Host Towns
  • Beginning in 2022: Joint planning of the Host Town Program and other inclusive projects
  • June 11-14 2023: Host Town Programs welcome delegations into their communities
  • June 17-24 2023: Special Olympics World Games in Berlin
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