2026 USA Games
Welcome to the 2026 Special Olympics USA Games, a monumental celebration of ability and inclusion set against the backdrop of the beautiful Twin Cities. Our mission is to create an inclusive event that celebrates ABILITY, delivers the highest quality experiences for all who participate, and leaves a legacy of positive change in Minnesota.
The Games are scheduled to take place from June 20-26, 2026, at the prestigious University of Minnesota, the official host venue. In addition to the university, the event will unfold across other premier locations, including the National Sports Center in Blaine.
“We are thrilled to be able to host the 2026 USA Games in the Twin Cities! Celebrating the athletic accomplishments on display will be pure joy, and advancing the mission of Special Olympics will be a great honor for our community!”
We anticipate the participation of about 4,000 athletes and 1,500 coaches representing all 50 states, engaging in 15-20 Special Olympics team and individual sports (both traditional and Unified, where people with and without intellectual disabilities compete together). The event will be supported by a dedicated team of 10,000 volunteers with an enthusiastic audience of 75,000 fans cheering on the inspiring athletes.
Law Enforcement Torch Run: The excitement for the 2026 USA Games begins 2-3 weeks in advance with the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Law enforcement members, alongside Special Olympics athletes, will carry the “Flame of Hope” across key markets, creating a sense of anticipation and unity leading up to the Opening Ceremony.
Opening and Closing Ceremonies: The Opening Ceremony promises to be a spectacular event, with an anticipated sold-out stadium. Witness the inspiring Parade of Athletes, the lighting of the cauldron, compelling speeches, headline performances, and the symbolic passing of the torch at the end of the week during the Closing Ceremony.
Healthy Athletes Experience: As a signature program of Special Olympics, the Healthy Athletes Experience offers health screening stations and services free of charge to all participating athletes. This initiative ensures the holistic well-being of our athletes, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.
Fan Zone: The Fan Zone is where the magic happens off the field. With daily programming, evening festivities, partner activations, and exciting interactions, it’s the perfect space for the community to come together and celebrate the spirit of the Games.
Join us for an extraordinary week filled with athleticism, camaraderie, and the spirit of inclusivity. The 2026 USA Games aims to create lasting memories and a positive legacy that extends far beyond the event itself. We invite you to be a part of this transformative experience, celebrating the abilities of all and fostering positive change in Minnesota.