Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan postponed to January 2023

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Due to the Delta variant of Covid-19 spreading around the globe, out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of athletes, volunteers, staff, and fans, Special Olympics World Winter Games in Kazan, Russia, have been postponed to January 2023.

Special Olympics and the Local Organizing Committee in Kazan made the decision to postpone the Games to 2023 after extensive consultation with the Russia Government, the leaders of the state Tatarstan, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other subject matter experts.

Olga Slutsker, President of Special Olympics Russia: “Hosting Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan in 2023 will make it possible for more athletes to participate, which will elevate the quality of competitions and allow for more cultural activities and immersive programming. Postponing the Games from 2022 to 2023 gives us the opportunity to hold a robust event and share our message of inclusion with Russia and the world.”

Originally scheduled for 2022, Special Olympics is committed to continuing the collaboration with the planning team for the Games in 2023, including the Russian Federation, the leaders of the state of Tatarstan, Special Olympics Russia President Olga Slutsker, and the Local Organizing Committee housed within the Russian Directorate of Sport and Social Projects.

We look forward to meeting athletes, volunteers and fans in Kazan in January 2023!

Special Olympics World Winter Games are held every four years. The Games in Russia will offer competition in seven sports: alpine skiing, snowboarding, floorball, cross-country skiing, figure skating, short track, and snowshoeing.

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. Learn more: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and blog on Medium. More information on

About Special Olympics Russia

Special Olympics Russia was founded in 1999 and is one of the largest national programs in the global Special Olympics movement. In Russia, around 130,000 people with intellectual disabilities are involved in physical education and about 5,000 physical culture events of the municipal, regional and all Russian levels are held annually under the Special Olympics Russia program. Currently there are Special Olympics regional offices in 62 regions of Russia. Russian athletes with intellectual disabilities take part in international tournaments annually in the Special Olympics Russia program with athletes occupying various leadership positions.