Countdown to the Games
17-25 June 2023

The Games have officially started with a huge party

The photo shows the entire Olympiastadion at the opening ceremony. All delegations are in the center and the stadion is glowing.
Special Olympics World Games 2023 Berlin 17.06.2023 Opening Ceremony Eröffnungsfeier Olympiastadion Foto: Tilo Wiedensohler/camera4
Tilo Wiedensohler/Tilo Wiedensohler/camera4

With a moving Opening Ceremony, the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 were officially opened in the Olympiastadion. It is hard to put into words what a unique atmosphere we were able to experience with you. Therefore, just briefly: Thank you!

"Are You Ready?" – our Games Song is also the decisive question for you: Are you ready for the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin?

The 50,000 people in the Olympiastadion would certainly answer this question with "yes!", because today we celebrated a unique festival of encounter, joy and inclusion at the big Opening Ceremony.

The parade of the delegations, accompanied by the enthralling music of the inclusive DJ collective "No Shade!", already provided many exuberant moments and overflowing emotions.

Even after the entry, hardly anyone of the athletes stayed in their seats. Everyone was dancing and celebrating, which led to a unique atmosphere.

In the photo, athletes are running into a stadium. They raise their hats in greeting and are very happy.
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The photo shows a dancing delegation at the Opening Ceremony. They rejoice and raise their hands.
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The photo shows cheering spectators at the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium. The mood is exuberant.
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The photo shows athletes of the French delegation shortly before entering the stadium. Everyone is excited and cheering.
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The photo shows the lit flame in the fire bowl. From Athens to Berlin to the Olympiastadion.
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On the photo there is a singer from Madcon at the opening ceremony. In the background shines the flame of #Berlin2023.
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The photo shows the fireworks at the Opening Ceremony in the Olympiastadion. Spectators capture the moment with the camera.
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After the parade of the delegations, the event continued with greetings from Mark Solomeyer (athlete spokesperson), Christiane Krajewski (President of Special Olympics Germany), Kai Wegner (Mayor of Berlin) and Nancy Faeser (Federal Minister of the Interior and Home Affairs), before the next show highlight was on the agenda.

Under the motto #UnbeatableTogether, the Blue Man Group Berlin together with many other performance artists made their first big appearance, followed by the emotional raising of the Special Olympics flag and the Special Olympics oaths.

And then the time came. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke the famous words: "I hereby declare the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 officially open!"

This was followed by the entrance of the Special Olympics flame, which – carried by proud athletes – took another lap of honor, as well as the performance of Madcon, which was awaited with much enthusiasm. This got the audience out of their seats again, as the question "Are You Ready?" was clearly answered by everyone dancing along to the Games Dance.

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#Berlin2023 Opening Ceremony

For the finale, colorful fireworks lit up the Berlin night sky, accompanied by the Blue Man Group. Now the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 are officially open and starting tomorrow, the athletes will compete together in 26 sports and show their best performances.

Be there and experience Special Olympics up close. Tickets can still be purchased online or at the venue (card payment only).



Recent news

Berlin 2023 team says thank you and see you soon!

31 July 2023, 10:40
An unforgettable journey lies behind us. Together we have taken the Special Olympics movement another step forward, given Germany and Berlin an important push for more inclusion and created moments for eternity. And for that, we want to thank you one last time.

Successful Games and responsibility for everyday life

28 June 2023, 16:24
With a brilliant fireworks display in the Berlin summer sky and the extinguishing of the flame, the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 came to a glorious close last Sunday. It was the end of the Games, but by no means the finale in terms of what needs to be done for inclusion.

Extraordinary commitment – our volunteers at the Games

27 June 2023, 11:32
Our volunteers in their distinctive purple shirts were everywhere. Without them, the Special Olympics World Games would not have been such a great success for everyone. Therefore, they deserve a huge thank you!