Thursday, 20 Jun 2024

BWF News: Embracing Inclusion at the Berlin 2023 Special Olympics World Games

In the bustling city of Berlin, the Special Olympics World Games of 2023 are underway, bringing together 191 athletes from 69 countries. Amidst the competitive spirit, there is one word that resonates deeply throughout the event: inclusion.

Berlin 2023 Special Olympics World Games

Celebrating Diversity in Badminton

From the Young Athletes Programme, where SO Chair Tim Shriver and NBA star Tony Snell guide Berlin kids in their first badminton experiences, to the participation of former world No.1 Peter Gade and European champion Marc Zwiebler alongside Special Olympic badminton players, the event showcases the true spirit of the sport. It’s a week dedicated to celebrating the inclusivity of badminton.

As BWF Deputy President Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul expressed at the grand Messe venue in Berlin, “This is a great week for the sport of badminton. It’s my first time at the Special Olympics World Games, and I’m delighted to play a part in promoting this event and celebrating the inclusivity of our sport.”

Badminton: Improving Physical and Mental Health

Leeswadtrakul, one of the five International Olympic Committee members present at Berlin 2023, firmly believes that badminton is the ideal sport for enhancing physical and mental well-being. She explains, “According to the vision of BWF, this is a great opportunity for badminton to create concrete actions and examples of how we are developing everyone and making this sport accessible for all, including those with special abilities.”

Peter Gade and Marc Zwiebler, renowned figures in the badminton world, serve as ambassadors for the Special Olympics. Their presence increases awareness and popularity of badminton among Special Olympics participants worldwide, making the event truly memorable.

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Unified Experiences: Connecting Athletes and Ambassadors

Badminton, always at the forefront of innovation, is one of 16 sports hosting Unified Experiences in Berlin. This initiative brings together Special Olympic athletes, regular players, and global ambassadors from various Olympic sports. Apolo Ohno, an eight-time Olympic medallist in short track speed skating, appreciates the importance of these unified experiences, stating, “Unified experiences like this are just an amazing way to connect and share what the joy of sport really represents.”

A Personal Touch: Leeswadtrakul Joins the Fun

During the Unified Sports Experience, Leeswadtrakul, known for her racket skills, had the honor of playing with Special Olympic athletes. Reflecting on the experience, she said, “I feel honored to play with the Special Olympic athletes. I had a lot of fun and will cherish these memories forever.”

Uniting Athletes from Different Backgrounds

In a remarkable display of unity, badminton fielded a Special Olympic athlete, a Para athlete, and a unified partner on the court simultaneously. Jamaican Para athlete Travis Ebanks, a gold medallist from the Abu Dhabi 2019 World Games, celebrated his first victory as the unified partner of Kile Ford. He expressed, “Badminton can unify individuals from different backgrounds. The spirit badminton brings about when you are playing the game is just beautiful.”

A Strong Alliance: BWF and Special Olympics

BWF and Special Olympics solidified their commitment to each other by signing a Memorandum of Understanding in 2019. This partnership has paved the way for a new badminton development strategy through 2024. Special Olympics CEO Mary Davis shared her excitement about the collaboration, stating, “Already we can see the expansion of badminton and the numbers of participants through the strategy that has been put in place.”

Tham Khảo Thêm:  BWF News

Leeswadtrakul further emphasized the importance of this collaboration, saying, “Because of the MoU, the relationship between the two organizations continues to grow efficiently. We will continue to work harder and more diligently to make this sport more accessible, especially for athletes from the Special Olympics, through our Shuttle Time projects and other Sport For All programs. Badminton is a sport that is very accessible for the betterment of all communities and societies.”


Q: How many athletes are participating in the Berlin 2023 Special Olympics World Games?

A: There are 191 athletes from 69 countries participating in the event.

Q: Who are some of the notable figures participating in the games?

A: Former world No.1 Peter Gade, European champion Marc Zwiebler, NBA star Tony Snell, and SO Chair Tim Shriver are among the notable figures attending the event.

Q: What is the significance of Unified Experiences in Berlin?

A: Unified Experiences in Berlin are aimed at connecting Special Olympic athletes, regular players, and global ambassadors from various Olympic sports. It fosters unity and promotes the joy of sport.

Q: What is the objective of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between BWF and Special Olympics?

A: The Memorandum of Understanding aims to strengthen the partnership between BWF and Special Olympics and implement a new badminton development strategy until 2024.


The Berlin 2023 Special Olympics World Games have brought together athletes from around the globe to celebrate the inclusive nature of badminton. With the support of notable ambassadors, unified experiences, and a strong partnership between BWF and Special Olympics, the event serves as a testament to the power of sport in promoting unity and diversity. Badminton truly stands out as a sport accessible to all, contributing to the betterment of communities and societies alike.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  BWF News

To learn more about the Carnegiecentre brand and its initiatives in badminton, visit Carnegiecentre.