Special Olympics USA Games: How to watch, news and coverage

ESPN.com4 Minute Read
Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images

Seattle is set to host the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, beginning Sunday. This tournament marks the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics, founded by Eunice Shriver, and will include 3,500 athletes from around the United States.

Special Olympics USA Games will showcase the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities and aims to promote acceptance and inclusion through sports. Athletes will hope to qualify for the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi in March 2019.

The details

  • Days: Sunday through Friday (July 1-6)

  • Opening ceremony: Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3 and ABC

  • Schedule: Events

  • Closing ceremony: Friday, 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2

  • Tournament website: Special Olympics USA Games

From left, Kyle Krekeler of Florida, David Shaffer of New Jersey, Thomas Logue of Maryland and Wayne Chisolm of Pennsylvania sweat it out during the preliminary rounds of the men's 3,000-meter run in 2014.Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images

How to watch

  • Opening ceremony: Live on ESPN3 and ABC at 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday

  • Live coverage: Monday: Special Olympics swimming live on ESPN3 at 5 p.m. ET; Tuesday: Special Olympics swimming live on ESPN3 at 4:30 p.m. ET; Wednesday: Special Olympics swimming live on ESPN3 at 1 p.m. ET; Thursday: Special Olympics swimming live on ESPN3 at 4:30 p.m. ET; Extensive news, video and information on ESPN.com, ESPN App; Vignette Series across ESPN platforms

  • Highlight shows: Monday: Daily highlights of the games on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. ET; Tuesday: Daily highlights of the games on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. ET; Wednesday: Daily highlights of the games on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. ET; Thursday: Daily highlights of the games on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. ET.

  • Closing ceremony: Live on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. ET Friday

Features, news and video

  • A family affair: Dustin and Danielle Oehlman met at a Special Olympics practice nearly 20 years ago. Now, with their children cheering them on, they're headed to the USA Games in Seattle. Read

  • Seth Hanchey's marks of strength: A catastrophic accident took so much from Seth Hanchey, including his ability to speak. Special Olympics weightlifting gave so much back: the motivation to recover, the drive to compete, the power to inspire. Here, his mother tells his story. Read

  • Seth Hanchey mending body and soul through powerlifting: After being struck by a vehicle and suffering a severe brain injury in 2011, Seth Hanchey has made a remarkable recovery and is competing in powerlifting at the Special Olympics. Watch

  • Andrew Peterson was born to run: When Andrew Peterson's father adopted him at 5 years old, the boy could barely hold a fork. He just needed someone to believe in him -- and the now marathon runner did the rest. Read

  • Respect: Born with fetal alcohol syndrome, 25-year-old Andrew Peterson became a three-time Special Olympics gold medalist after his father helped him find his voice and his passion. Watch

  • Drummond delivers heartfelt message to Special Olympics athletes: Pistons center Andre Drummond shares a bond with the Detroit-based Special Olympics Michigan basketball team. Watch

  • Special Olympics all about love and inclusion: Special Olympics athletes give first-hand accounts of both how they are treated and how they want to be treated. Watch

  • Griffin, Spieth among famous faces in Unified Sports Challenge: Jen Lada explains how the Special Olympics Unified Sports Challenge brought together a variety of athletes for a great cause. Watch

  • A Fish Called JoJo: Jolina Harris, affectionately called JoJo by her family, was drawn to the water as a young child. The ocean was her playground -- and her solace. Now as a 12-year-old, she finds that peace in the pool as a Special Olympics swimmer. Read

  • JoJo Harris finds peace in the water: Growing up in the Marshall Islands, JoJo Harris was always drawn to the water. After relocating to Las Vegas, JoJo joined the UNLV swim program and will now compete at the Special Olympics. Watch

  • For Special Olympics swimmer Jessica Grammer, 'dreams do come true': When Jessica Grammer learned she was going to the USA Games, she screamed a celebratory 'Yes!' And her swimming prowess isn't the only thing she contributes to Team Missouri. Read

  • Meet Divine Pearl Navalta, aka The Sparkling Diva: The Special Olympics runner earned that nickname from her friends because of her fun, outgoing personality -- and now at the USA Games, she's channeling that energy on the track to win gold. Read

  • Blind Special Olympics athlete Ben Collins showed me his worldview: Ben Collins can see only shadows and shapes, and he handles with aplomb a commute from Maryland to Washington, D.C., to work at the Special Olympics headquarters. Read

  • Collins: 'Don't underestimate me in sports and in life': As both a manager and super-fan for multiple University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee teams, Michael Poll has left a lasting mark on everyone he's met. Watch

  • Ex-NFL OT Roberts is a champion for Special Olympics athletes: Ray Roberts used to open pathways for Barry Sanders as an offensive tackle for the Detroit Lions. Now he's helping create pathways for athletes with intellectual disabilities. Read

  • Foudy's Finds: Special Olympics athlete has run 30 marathons: Julie Foudy goes for a run with Special Olympics athlete Andy Bryant who was once told he would never be able to walk across the street by himself. Now he's an elite marathon runner. Watch

  • Photos: The moments that show Special Olympics athletes are unstoppable: The Special Olympics USA Games have been full of dramatic and inspirational finishes. But these moments and stories are the ones we will not forget. View

  • From Special Olympics play to the workplace: Special Olympics International Global Messenger David Egan says, "I am proud to have a job; I pay taxes, I vote and I matter." And he's sharing that message at the job fair at the USA Games. Read