Orlando to Host 2022 Special Olympics USA Games
Orlando Health will be the official Medical Team for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games to be held in the greater Orlando area. The arrangement is part of a new multi-year partnership agreement between Orlando Health, the 2022 USA Games and Special Olympics Florida that also designates Orlando Health as the official Central Florida Medical Home for Special Olympics Florida (SOFL).
“We’re very excited to be able to partner with Special Olympics and work with their athletes throughout Florida and from all over the country.” says Cary D’Ortona, Orlando Health executive champion for the Special Olympics partnership and president of Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. “People with unique abilities are very frequently some of the most underserved patients in healthcare so this partnership is not just about helping these athletes compete and succeed, it’s also about working with Special Olympics Florida to learn how we, as a health system, can become more attuned to the needs of our patients with intellectual disabilities.”
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games will take place June 5-11, 2022. More than 4,000 athletes, 10,000 volunteers, 1,500 coaches and 125,000 fans from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Caribbean will travel to Orlando to unite and participate in one of the world’s most cherished sporting events.
As the official Medical Team for the 2022 USA Games, Orlando Health physicians and athletic trainers will work directly with the athletes as they compete in the Games. In addition, Orlando Health will be a platinum sponsor for the Games, a presenting partner for the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes experience and presenting sponsor for the Young Athletes Festival for athletes age 2 - 7.
“We could not be more thrilled to have Orlando Health as the official medical team of the 2022 USA Games,” said Joe Dzaluk, President & CEO of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. “With more than 3,300 individual sports competitions taking place during the week of the Games, our athletes will have the best medical resources in Florida available to them.”
Orlando Health will also partner with SOFL as the official Central Florida Medical Home for its athletes. In addition, Orlando Health is designated as the presenting sponsor for SOFL’s Central Florida Health Programs and Young Athletes Program.
“Orlando Health has a long, proud history of serving the residents of Central Florida and we’re delighted to have their expertise and commitment to Special Olympics Florida’s athletes,” said Sherry Wheelock, President & CEO of Special Olympics Florida. “Partnership and support from organizations like Orlando Health are important as we look for ways to enhance how we serve our athletes.”
The announcement of the partnership with Orlando Health comes as Special Olympics Florida gears up for its annual State Fall Classic, November 15 and 16 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports® Complex at Walt Disney World. Thousands of athletes from across Florida will gather over the two-day event to compete in sports competitions such as powerlifting, softball, flag football, and more.