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11 Tips for the Special Olympics


Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, Athletes
Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, Athletes © Special Olympics Inc.

The Special Olympic World Games are being held in Germany for the first time. From 17 to 25 June, around 7,000 athletes will be demonstrating in 26 different sports that the Games can be about more than just winning gold. You can cheer on the athletes and get active yourself at various accessible venues in Berlin, including the exhibition grounds, the Olympic Park and around the Neptune Fountain, the centre of the festival. The capital is looking forward to a colourful international festival of sport - for more recognition and social participation of people with intellectual disabilities. We have put together 11 tips from the extensive sports and cultural programme for you.

Tip: Here you can find attractive hotel and travel offers for the Special Olympic World Games in Berlin.

Hotel- and Travel offers

Tip 1: Be there at the big opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium

Opening Ceremony Special Olympics
Eröffnungszeremonie Special Olympics © Juri Reetz

On 17 June, all athletes, family members and volunteers will gather for the big opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium. And you can be there live when the delegations enter and the Games are ceremoniously opened with a spectacular programme. With your tickets to the Opening Ceremony you can also attend all the competitions of the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin. Unfortunately, the closing ceremony at the Brandenburg Gate is already completely sold out.

When: 17 June, 20:15 - 22:45 (doors open from 18:00)
Where: Olympic Stadium, Olympischer Platz 3, Charlottenburg

Tip 2: Cheer on the athletes during the sports programme

Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, female athletes
Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, female athletes © Special Olympics Inc.

In 26 verschiedenen Sportarten messen sich die Athleth:innen bei den Special Olympic World Games. Je nach Sportart, finden die Wettkämpfe im Olympia Park (Reiten & Leichtathletik) auf dem Messegelände (Badminton, Rhythmische Sport-Gymnastik) oder auch mal in Grünau statt (Freiwasser Schwimmen und Kanu). Die Radsportler:innen seht ihr an der Straße des 17. Juni und gesegelt wird auf dem Wannsee. Am besten schaut ihr mal auf Zeitplan der Special Olympic World Games. Ein spannendes und buntes Sportprogramm ist garantiert! 

Wann: 17. bis 25. Juni
Wo: verschiedene Veranstaltungsorte

Tip 3: Meet at the festival at the Neptune Fountain

zwei Frauen bei der Athletendisko
zwei Frauen vor dem Brandenburger Tor © Anna Spindelndreier

Music, dance, theatre and much more await you at the big inclusive open-air festival on the occasion of the Special Olympics World Games at the Neptunbrunnen. In addition to the large cultural stage, there will also be numerous stands where you can not only get information but also participate in various hands-on activities. A sporting highlight of the street festival will be the 3x3 Street Basketball competitions, an official part of the World Games! Admission is free.
When: 15 - 25 June, daily 2 - 10 p.m., on 17, 22 and 25 June until 7 p.m.
Where: around the Neptunbrunnen, Rathausstraße 1, Mitte

Tip 4: Join the Special Olympics Activity Zone

Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, Winner
Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, Winner © Special Olympics Inc.

Here you can simply try out inclusive sports for yourself. In the Activity Zone on the exhibition grounds, there are various stations where you can let off steam. In the non-competitive programme, you will find challenges for every sporting level, and a sense of achievement is guaranteed. The aim is to promote the fun of movement - and to present inclusive sports. The programme is open to participants, daycare centres, schools and young athletes. 

Where: Messe Berlin, Hall 8.2 (ticket or accreditation required)
When: Non-competitive programme 18 to 24 June. daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; 25 June, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Tip 5: Krake Festival - listening to electronic music and living inclusion

DJ am Mischpult
© GettyImages, Foto: DisobeyArt

The Krake Festival is all about electronic music and inclusion. To kick things off, there will be a roundtable discussion on the topic of inclusion in the world of music at the House of Music. There will be a barbecue and, of course, music will be played together. After the performance of an inclusive band, a DJ will play. In a separate room you can try out electronic instruments yourself. Part two of the festival is a weekender at the ://about blank club with various concerts and DJ acts. Both venues are barrier-free.

When: Talks 21 June 4pm - midnight, Weekender 24 June 1pm - 25 June 11.59pm.
Where: House of Music, Revaler Straße 99, Friedrichshain and ://about blank Club, Markgrafendamm 24c, Friedrichshain 

Tip 6: Think about connections at "The Space between

Besuch einer Gallerie
© GettyImages, Foto: JGI/Tom Grill

The final exhibition of Unbound, Germany's first transdisciplinary residency programme for artists with and without disabilities, is about connections. What connects us humans with each other, what connects us with the non-human world around us and what happens when the possible connections are interrupted? The six artists have expressed their experiences and thoughts on this in different, multi-sensory formats, in a way that can be felt, experienced and, of course, connected.

When: Vernissage on 10 June, 5 - 9 pm, exhibition 11 - 25 June, Wednesday to Friday 1 - 5 pm, Saturday & Sunday 12 - 5 pm.
Where: CLB Berlin Prinzenstraße 84.3 (entrance via Oranienstraße), Kreuzberg

The Space between

Tip 7: Discover exciting places on the tandem tours

entrance of the Olympiastadion Berlin
Olympiastadion Berlin © Olympiastadion GmbH, Foto: Friedrich Busam

Would you like to learn more about the Olympic Stadium or about Berlin's history and architecture in general? Then you should take part in a guided tour with the guides from "Berlin erzählen". The guides are people with and without disabilities who speak easy language and will take you to exciting places in Berlin on different days, namely the Olympic Stadium, Potsdamer Platz and the T4 Memorial, which is the memorial and information site for the victims of the nationalist "euthanasia" murders. All venues are accessible without barriers.

Olympiastadion: 18 June, 12:00-14:00 hrs.  
Potsdamer Platz: 19 June, 10:00-11:30 a.m.
T4 Monument: 25 June, 11:00-12:00
Olympic Stadium at the main entrance, Olympischer Platz 3, Charlottenburg
Potsdamer Platz at the historic traffic lights, Mitte
T4 Memorial, Tiergartenstraße 4, Mitte

Tip 8: RambaZamba - shows "Ein Sportstück" about sports & body cult

Exterior view of the RambaZamba Theatre in the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg Berlin Mitte
RambaZamba Theatre in the Kulturbrauerei © RambaZamba Theater

Higher, faster, further! In "Ein Sportstück", author and Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek explores how the desire to win and the cult of the body spur each other on - and lead to an ideology that focuses on the optimised body. In keeping with the Spirit of the Special Olympic World Games, the RambaZamba Theatre is bringing "Ein Sportstück" ("A Sport Play") to the stage. In scenic succession, it goes from antiquity to the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin to Arnold Schwarzenegger's body cult and finally into virtual space. A performance not to be missed. Founded in 1990, RambaZamba shows how inclusion can be successfully implemented in theatre. 

When: 10 and 13 June, 19:30 - 21:30, please register in advance
Where: RambaZamba Theatre, Schönhauser Allee 36-39, Friedrichshain

Ein Sportstück

Tipp 9: Herzen. Zwischen. Vulkanen (Hearts. Between. Volcanoes)

© GettyImages, Foto: standret

The group "tanzfähig" is also made up of people with and without disabilities. The piece "Herz.Zwischen.Vulkanen" is about how everyone is different and yet the same. You can see the choreography by Karina Suárez Bosche, among others, on 25 June from 3.30 pm on the Kulturbühne am Neptunbrunnen.

When: 18 June, 7.30 - 8.30 pm
Where: Theater Aufbau Kreuzberg, Prinzenstraße 85 F, Kreuzberg

Tip 10: Be smart and show what you know at the accessible Pub Quiz 

Beer © GettyImages, Bild: Niccoló Pontigia / EyeEm

At the Open Air Quiz Night in the Berggarten you can show what you know. Until September, the Berlin Bergbrauerei invites you to the best pub quiz in town. And the best thing is that everyone is welcome to join in. The Quiz Night is barrier-free and all questions will not only be read out in English and German, but also translated into German sign language on site. And of course there's free beer to be won!

When: every first Sunday of the month from 7 pm
Where: Treptower Straße 39, Treptow

Quiz Night @ Berggarten

Tip 11: Listen to our podcast on the Special Olympics


Das Video gehört zur Folge „Olympia Spezial“ von dem Podcast Berlin Unboxed, den visitBerlin betreibt. Der Podcast stellt die Special Olympics und das Olympiastadion in Berlin vor. In dem Video ist ein Standbild aus dem Innenraum des Olympiastadions zu sehen zu sowie das visitBerlin Logo im linken unterem Eck. Die Untertitel des Videos können im YouTube Player unter Einstellungen an- und ausgeschaltet werden. Für eine Transkription sollte das Video direkt auf YouTube angeschaut werden.

This time, the Berlin Unboxed team invited two speakers from the Special Olympic World Games for an interview. Claudio Göbel and Silvio Wünsche are both active as athletes in free swimming and talk about their experiences in the sport and why everyone should have a chance. In addition, Timo Rohwedder, managing director of the Olympic Stadium, takes us on a tour behind the scenes. Come along to the barrier-free seats - directly above the fan curve. 

When: anytime
Where: on Spotify, Deezer, on Amazon MusicApple and Google Podcasts.

You can also hear Berlin Unboxed in our ABOUT BERLIN App, the free digital city guide to Berlin history and stories.

ABOUT BERLIN is your personal city guide with lots of insider information. Download now for free

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Josefine Köhn-Haskins


is originally from Munich and started out her career at one of Germanys largest daily news papers. Before finding her home in Berlin, she also reported as a correspondent and trend scout from the US. Today she is cruising Berlin's neighbourhoods, always on the lookout for good stories - with a focus on culture, music and ideas for the future of an innovative Berlin. All posts