ESPN’s Coverage of Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 Begins June 17 on ABC

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From June 17-25 in Berlin, Germany, more than 7,000 athletes from 180 global delegations will compete in 26 sports as part of the largest inclusive sports event in the world — Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. ABC and ESPN media platforms will again bring coverage of the World Games throughout the week, including coverage of the World Games Opening Ceremony, more than 220 hours of live streaming competition coverage and a “Best Of Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023” recap show. 

Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts will co-host the broadcast from the historic Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on June 16.

Games coverage begins with the World Games Opening Ceremony on June 17 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. The three-hour telecast from Olympiastadion in Berlin will capture the inspiration and pageantry of the Opening Ceremony and the parade of athletes and will feature vignettes capturing the incredible stories of several athletes from around the globe.

Kevin Neghandi, Jen Lada, and Special Olympics athlete Daina Shilts will host the Opening Ceremony coverage, with reporting from Tim Tebowand Julie FoudyGMA’s Robin Roberts will serve as the Master of Ceremony.

Throughout the week (June 18-25), ESPN will feature more than 220 hours of live-streaming competition coverage from 13 sports on ESPN+ and ESPN3. ESPN will provide enhanced coverage for three sports — Athletics (Track & Field), Swimming, and Powerlifting — with original commentary and additional production elements, with world feed coverage of the remaining 10 sports (Artistic Gymnastics, Basketball – both 5v5 and 3v3, Futsal, Handball, Hockey, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Soccer and Volleyball — both indoor and beach).

Additional content will be featured across ESPN’s digital (, the ESPN App), linear, and social media channels.

“ESPN’s commitment to coverage across both ESPN+ and ESPN3 shows how much we value our broadcast partnership, reaching more than 185 countries and territories worldwide,” said Kate Jackson, ESPN Vice President, Production. “Special Olympics stands for unity and inclusion, and those messages have never been more important. We’re so proud to cover these games and share these remarkable athletes’ stories.”

ESPN’s coverage will feature five Olympic and Paralympic athletes who totaled 11 Olympic medals — Victoria Arlen, Rowdy Gaines, Cheryl Haworth, Dan O’Brien, Julie Foudy — along with commentary from Drew Fellios, Jason Ross Jr., and Patrick Kinas, and reporting from Alexis Nunes and Kelsey Riggs.

ESPN’s coverage will be rounded out with a two-hour Best Of Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 program July 2 at 1 p.m. ET on ABC, capturing and recapping the top moments from the World Games, along with original multiple features and stories.

“It’s an absolute privilege for all of us at ESPN and The Walt Disney Company to tell the stories of inclusion, unity, and teamwork by athletes with intellectual disabilities competing from around the world at Special Olympics World Games in Berlin,” said Kevin Martinez, Vice President of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “The Special Olympics movement promotes acceptance, camaraderie and human potential in ways that can only be accomplished through sport.”

ESPN’s relationship with Special Olympics spans more than 40 years. Since 2013 that relationship has deepened, with ESPN serving as the official media partner for Special Olympics World Games and USA Games events in Los Angeles (2015), Austria (2017), Seattle (2018), Abu Dhabi (2019), and Orlando (2022) as well as the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics. 

Additionally, ESPN and Special Olympics have a long-standing alliance to use the power of sports to promote social inclusion and acceptance through support and sponsorship of Special Olympics Unified Sports®. Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Unified Sports® joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. Since 2013, ESPN has been the Global Presenting Sponsor of Unified Sports® resulting in a 182 percent increase in Unified participants globally, bringing the number to over $1.8 million participants.

ESPN employees have volunteered with Special Olympics for nearly 40 years.

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