The Family Program of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 welcomes among others family members of athletes and Unified partners.
The goal of the program is to ensure that all families are properly welcomed and assisted before and during the Games and to create a safe and welcoming environment for all.
Find all necessary information about the Family Registration, the Family Program and Berlin in this manual:
EN: Family Registration Handbook
ES: Manual de Registro Familiar
FR: Manuel D'inscription des Familles
RU: Справочник по регистрации для семей
AR: دليل تسجيل العائلات
About the Family Program
The Family Service of the Local Organizing Committee offers special services to the Family Members of athletes and e.g. Unified partners participating in the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
Definition of a Family Member:
- The husband, wife, partner or child of the competing athlete
- A blood relative of the athlete (e.g. mother, father, sibling, grandparent, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, cousin, and a relative related by marriage or a partner of a blood relative)
- The athlete’s legal guardian, foster partner or caregiver role
The goal of the Family Program is to create a safe and welcoming environment for visiting families to enjoy the Games to the fullest while providing them with the opportunity to have quality interaction with other families. It includes various information and hospitality services.
The Special Olympics World Games 2023 serve as a powerful engine for families to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones. Therefore, we will provide families with a range of engagement and entertainment activities during the Games, including the famous Family Reception, Family Lunch Time Talks, and much more.
For the Opening and Closing Ceremony as well as for all competitions.
Together with the credentials, families will receive free tickets for public transportation of Berlin.
Family Program credentials provide access to special areas for families in most competition venues.
The Family Welcome Center serves as the initial check-in area. This is where family credentials and welcome bags are distributed to all registered participants.
The Family Program credential provides access to the Honored Guests and Family Lounges, which serve as places to rest, come together and network. Light refreshments are served in the lounges and information desks are available.
Family members are offered a list of hotels. Our preferred partner visitBerlin offers a large array of hotel options with easy access to competition venues. Check out all available offers and book your accommodation with visitBerlin.
Traveling families from all countries meet with families living in Berlin and Germany to spend time together, exchange about culture and make new friends.
Family members are invited to participate in family activities held in conjunction with the sports competitions.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Who can register for the Family Program?
Only family members of participants may register to the family program.
A family member is anyone related to a participating athlete in the following manner:
- The husband, wife, partner or child of the participating athlete.
- A relative (e.g. mother, father, sibling, grandparent, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece,
cousin and relative by marriage or partner of a relative).
- Legal guardian, care partner or caregiver
Participants may include all family members of:
- Participating Athletes and Unified Partners
- Global Athlete Congress participants
- Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers and Athlete Leaders
- Athletes participating in the Torch Run Final Leg
What is the procedure after I submit the registration?
Once you submit your registration, it will be reviewed by each relevant SO program.
Here you find your relevant SO program:
For the approval process, the list of family registrations will be regularly sent to the Family Coordinators of the SO programs to validate them. In the process, many steps are involved. It usually takes around one week, but due high registration numbers, the process may take longer. We would like to thank you in advance for your patience.
Where can family members pick up their credentials?
The Honored Guest and Family Welcome Center serves as the first point of contact for family members attending Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. This is where registered family members can receive their credentials (a credential is an access cards with name and picture on it), and all other documents.
The Welcome Center will be located at Messe Berlin, South entrance and starts operating on
15 June 2023 until 25 June 2023. Exact opening hours and address will be communicated in the Family Games Handbook published closer to the Games time.
Please keep in mind that the free access to the public transport in Berlin is valid only with family credentials.
Can I register other family members?
Yes, it is indeed possible to register other family members. Simply start a new registration for the Family Program . Please refer to the Family Registration Handbook
I have entered something incorrectly in the registration system. How can I change it?
After submitting the registration, changes are not possible anymore.
In case information needs to be changed, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once I have completed the registration, how do I know that it worked and where can I check the information I submitted?
The system sends out a confirmation to the e-mail address you entered in the profile section. There will be a link in this e-mail that will direct you to the information that you submitted. Please make sure to check your spam folder.
I registered as a family member. Can I also register as a volunteer?
Due to our system, a person can only receive one credential status. You cannot be registered as both a volunteer and a family member. If you are already registered as both a family member and a volunteer, please inform us via e-mail at : email@example.com.
How can I apply for visa?
Please check online on the website of the German Foreign Office whether or not you need a visa to enter Germany. You can get to the information by clicking on the link below and searching for your nationality. Overview of visa requirements/exemptions for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany - Federal Foreign Office (auswaertiges-amt.de)
To receive the Letter of Confirmation for your visa application, please make sure to select
“need visa assistance” when completing your online family registration. We will send the Letter of Confirmation once your registration is confirmed. Please make sure to book an appointment at your local German embassy or consulate at least 3 months prior to your scheduled travel to Germany. The Local Organizing Committee, unfortunately, cannot assist you in booking appointments.
How can I receive free tickets for competition venues, and Opening/Closing ceremonies?
The Family Program includes tickets for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Moreover, with their credentials, family members gain access to all competition venues. Please note that families have priority over other guest groups and spectators. However, at no time can the capacity of any venue be exceeded.
Families will automatically receive free tickets to the Opening Ceremony via e-mail one week before the event. please make sure to check your spam folder.
How to register for the Host Family Program?
Once you are registered as a family in the Games, you are invited to register for the Host Family Program that provides the opportunity for the traveling families from all countries to meet with families living in Berlin and Germany to spend time together, exchange about culture and make new friends.
Please keep in mind that this program is NOT about accommodation, but about meeting at the competitions, activities or in the city. You can find more information and registration link for the Host Family Program here:
Are there any activities for families to do while they are in Berlin?
Families will have the opportunity to participate in the inclusive program of the SO Festival. It includes,
Highlight events at Brandenburg Tor
Festival at Neptunbrunnen
Festival inside Messe Berlin
Cultural program includes diverse and exciting cultural events in Berlin – all connected to inclusion. There will be something for everyone: you will have the chance to visit various exhibitions, theater plays or enjoy musical performances at special events. Furthermore, you will get a discount on various sights and enjoy Berlin´s fascinating main attractions.
More information will be shared on the family communication channels.
Will you be offering discounted Family Accommodations and reservations assistance for family hotels?
Family members are responsible for their own travel arrangements (to and from Berlin) as well as for booking their stay. Our preferred partner, VisitBerlin, offers a large array of hotel options with easy access to competition venues.
The official family hotel is already sold out. Additional hotel options are open for reservations in other locations throughout the city. We strongly encourage you to start booking your accommodation now! June is the busiest month in Berlin and many hotels are already fully booked.
Are family members permitted to participate in the Host Town Program?
No, the Host Town Program is dedicated to Delegations only. Therefore, families will not be able to participate in the Host Town program. Instead, families can already come to Berlin, explore the city and take advantage of the SO Festival.
Will there be a transportation system available for family members?
After picking up their credentials at the Family Welcome Centre, family members are entitled for the free use of public transport in Berlin. Please keep in mind that the free access to the public transport in Berlin is valid only with family credentials.
For those who have booked accommodation near the golf venue (Bad Saarow), further information will be given in the Family Handbook.
In case of any doubt or questions, please feel free to reach out to us via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org