In just a few days, we will kick-off the Special Olympics World Games with the grand Opening Ceremony in the Olympiastadion Berlin. It will be colorful, emotional, joyful and inclusive. Will you be there?
"After two years of intensive preparation, we are delighted that it is finally getting underway and that the Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium will be the start of a week full of unique experiences for all athletes," says director Sven Sören Beyer, head of the artists' collective called phase 7 performing.arts.
"The importance of inclusion – not only in sports, but in all aspects of everyday life – will be celebrated and lived throughout the ceremony, in line with the Games motto: #UnbeatableTogether."
If you want to be there when we make history together, you still have the chance to secure your seat now:
18:00: Doors open
20:15: Official start of the event
22:55: End of the show
The Opening Ceremony starts with the parade of all participating delegations, which enter the stadium one after the other. One member of each delegation pours water brought from home into a large basin, accompanied by the music of an inclusive Berlin DJ collective.
Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International (SOI) and son of Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy-Shriver, is the first to address all athletes and guests. This is followed by an emotional highlight: the Special Olympics flag is raised, accompanied by the singing of Alexander Klaws and Sabrina Weckerlin, who perform the Disney song "Go the Distance".
The event continues with a big inclusive show act with poetry slam, music by cello and piano, an artistry act and a 70-person choir, before the Special Olympics Oath is solemnly spoken by athlete Ralf Andrasch and the Games are officially opened by Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Greetings will also be given by Nancy Faeser (Federal Minister of the Interior and Home Affairs), Kai Wegner (Governing Mayor of Berlin), Christiane Krajewski (President of Special Olympics Germany and Chair of the Organizing Committee) and Mark Solomeyer (Vice President, Athlete Spokesperson and Global Messenger of Special Olympics Germany).
Then it will get spectacular: First, the Special Olympics Flame of Hope will be ceremoniously lit. This is followed by the performance of the official Games song "Are You Ready" by the Norwegian duo Madcon with a rousing beat and lots of good energy and accompanied by around 700 dancers from the German Dance Sports Association (DTV).
The DTV and hopefully all spectators as well as athletes will dance the official Games Dance, which you can learn here in our YouTube tutorial.
A final goosebump moment will be provided by fireworks that will bathe the Berlin evening sky in the most beautiful colors. Actors and musicians of the world-famous Blue Man Group are involved in the staging of the fireworks for the finale of the show.
The Opening Ceremony will be broadcast live on various channels. More information on the TV coverage is available here.
For information on your travel, accessibility and more, check out our Spectator Guide. Small tip: The pre-programme at 6.30 pm is recommended. Not only because of the quality, but also to avoid long queues.
We cannot wait to dance and party with you!