The Special Olympics, the global sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, has announced that Sweden will be hosting the World Winter Games in 2021. The Special Olympics World Games take place every two years, alternating between Summer and Winter Games. The 2017 winter edition was held in Graz and Schladming, Austria.
The 2021 Games in Sweden will take place in February in the cities of Åre and Östersund. The Games are expected to attract 2,000 athletes and Unified Sports Partners from 105 nations, who will compete in nine sports disciplines. Special Olympics Unified Sports is an inclusive program that brings together an equal number of people with intellectual disabilities and individuals without intellectual disabilities, playing together on the same team. The Swedish bid for the 2021 Games focused on aspects such as investment in public health for people with intellectual disabilities, the need to raise awareness in society of people with intellectual disabilities, and changing attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities, among others.
Meanwhile, the countdown to the 2019 Summer Special Olympics World Games has begun. The 2019 Games will be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on March 14–21.