What is a Special Olympics Unified Partner?

Special Olympics Unified Sports® Explained Here

Special Olympics Unified Sports® now includes three inclusive sport
models that involve individuals with and without intellectual
disabilities. Below is a brief summary:

Unified Sports: The competitive model that combines Special
Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and
partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) of similar age
and ability as teammates on sport teams for training and
competition. (Also note that traditional Unified Sports will be the
only model in which official competition will take place at World

Unified Sports Player Development: Teammates following this
model are not required to be of similar abilities. Players of higher
abilities will assist teammates of lower abilities in developing
sport-specific skills and tactics and in successfully participating in a
team environment.

Unified Sports Recreation: A less structured model intended to
introduce people to the concept of inclusive sports opportunities for
Special Olympics athletes and Unified Sports partners without
intellectual disabilities. This model promotes social inclusion and
increases sport-specific skills.

The goals for Special Olympics Unified Sports® are to: foster a
movement of social inclusion and change attitudes through sport
for all Special Olympics Programs worldwide; double the number of
participants in Unified Sports to 1 million by 2015; and have 100% of
Special Olympics Programs doing Unified Sports activities by 2015.