2023 State Summer Games

What an amazing two days at the 2023 State Summer Games last month!

Some 1,500 athletes and 300 Unified partners from across Florida came to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex for two days of competition and camaraderie. Competing in six different sports – track and field, soccer, volleyball, cycling, bocce, and cheer – the athletes played hard and fair, demonstrating the skill and dedication that earned them a spot at the State Games.

“We’ve done pretty well, so far,” said Donald Singleton, an Athlete Leader who was competing in volleyball. “It’s been great being here and getting to see everyone.”

The Games kicked off Friday, May 19 around mid-day. They concluded Saturday around 3 p.m. When not competing, participants had the chance to attend a Healthy Athletes screening run by Orlando Health. Over the course of the event, we conducted more than 3,500 screenings.

Friday evening featured a spectacular Opening Ceremony that included fireworks and the lighting of the Special Olympics Flame of Hope.

The flame was delivered by more than 200 law enforcement officers participating in the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

For many athletes, the ceremony's high point may have been the appearance of several beloved Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy, Pluto, and Chip and Dale.

The State Summer Games were big news in Central Florida, getting coverage from several television news outlets, including WFTV, WKMG and WESH. A huge thanks to the athletes, their families, our Unified partners, and our volunteers for helping to make the event such a success.

View our 2023 State Summer Games Photo Galleries