The selection of Kazan by the Special Olympics International Board of Directors was made based on the city’s proven reputation for hosting large international sporting events, support from local, state, and national governments of Russia, and a strong legacy vision to use the power of sport to establish thriving, inclusive communities by transforming attitudes and behaviors throughout Russia, and the world.
The Special Olympics World Winter Games are among the world’s most prestigious sporting events, uniquely focused on advancing a truly inclusive world for people with intellectual disabilities. World Games also provide a prominent platform for the movement’s work in health, education, and leadership for athletes.
Regarded as Russia’s capital of sports, Kazan is an exciting new destination for Special Olympics. The Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022 (www.sokazan2022.com) will mark the first time the organization has brought a global competition to Russia. No stranger to major sports events, Kazan has played host an array of top sports competitions, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 2015 FINA World Championships and the 27th Summer Universiade.
Two thousand Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners (athletes without intellectual disabilities) from 108 nations will compete at the World Winter Games in 2022. They will be joined by some 3,000 volunteers and 4,000 dignitaries and family members, making the event a truly global offering.
Kazan is well-equipped to host the seven sports of World Winter Games—alpine skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, floorball, cross-country skiing, figure skating, and short track speedskating. Located in southwest Russia, Kazan is a city with a thousand-year history situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The World Winter Games will draw support from the local government of Kazan, the state government of Tatarstan, and the federal government of Russia.
Taking place every two years, and alternating between summer and winter sports, the Special Olympics World Games are broadcast globally by ESPN, the Official Broadcast Partner of Special Olympics. The previous World Winter Games took place in Austria in 2017.
About Special Olympics
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries and territories and more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.
About Special Olympics Russia
Special Olympics Russia was established in 1999 and involves 128,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities. More than 4,900 sports events at the municipal, regional and national levels are held annually across Russia. Currently, there are regional offices in 62 regions of Russia. Russian athletes with intellectual disabilities regularly take part in global Special Olympics events and competitions.