Santiago, Chile to host 2027 Special Olympics World Games


April 24 (UPI) -- Santiago, Chile will host the 2027 Special Olympics World Games, marking the first time in its 55-year history the games will take place in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Special Olympics International Board of Directors made the announcement Wednesday at a press event at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C.

"For the first time in Special Olympics history, the 2027 World Games are headed to Latin America and the Southern Hemisphere," the organization announced Wednesday in a post on X.

"Let's celebrate this incredible milestone and embrace the power of sports to transform lives!"

More than 6,000 Special Olympics athletes are expected to participate in 22 sporting events at Santiago's state-of-the-art competition venues. The athletes, coaches and volunteers will come from more than 170 countries.

"We are thrilled that our 2027 World Games has been awarded to Chile's capital city -- Santiago. In less than 15 years, our Program in Chile has reduced the fear of difference and worked tirelessly to build systems that advance inclusion in sports, health and education for one of the world's most marginalized populations," said Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics Chairman.

The city of Santiago and the federal government of Chile have committed $134 million to host the Special Olympics. The event will contribute to several U.N. Sustainable Development Goals including No Poverty, Reduced Inequalities and Good Health & Well-Being, among others.

"We are very happy that our country will be the new host of a top-level global sports event: the Special Olympics 2027 World Games," said President Gabriel Boric Font of Chile.

"We are proud to continue promoting inclusion through sports, a new national celebration that continues to pave the way for organizing events of this nature that generate so much unity and joy at the national level," Boric said.

"To all the athletes of the Special Olympics World Games: we await you in Chile!"