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Youth Games

Stay tuned, 2018 date coming soon!

We had a blast with you in 2017!

– Ironman triathlete and Paralympian Sarah Reinertsen, Portland Timbers player Zarek Valentin and Paralympian Patrick “Blake” Leeper to lead Opening Ceremonies –

NIKE, Inc. and Special Olympics Oregon team up for the 2017 Special Olympics Oregon Youth Games at Nike World Headquarters on Saturday, October 7, 2017.

Since 2007, more than 5,000 young people have participated in the Special Olympics Oregon Youth Games at Nike World Headquarters. This one-day event focuses on teaching those with intellectual disabilities the basics of a popular sport. At the same time, participants and their families have the opportunity to sample Special Olympics Oregon’s life-changing programs while interacting with local and professional athletes.

As part of the 2017 Youth Games, Nike will host a Unified Champion Schools (UCS) exhibition soccer game which is part of the SOOR journey. The UCS program creates a culture of inclusion and community where youth with intellectual disabilities play on the same field as youth without intellectual disabilities. UCS’s unique combination of sports, education and leadership activities is encouraging a generation of acceptance – in school and on the field or court. There are currently 82 UCS schools in 27 districts throughout the state of Oregon with additional growth expected this year as the program expands to middle schools. Nike has supported UCS with a $200,000 grant in 2015 and again in 2016.

Grant High School senior Grace Almgren was first introduced to sport during the 2008 Youth Games. She has since moved on to play on a UCS basketball team for her school. Grace’s mom, Karis Almgren, says her daughter isn’t naturally drawn to athletics, but through incredible support from Special Olympics Oregon programs, her daughter has learned to love sport, which has in turn built her confidence.

“To have my daughter with Down Syndrome out there playing with the team while everyone is cheering makes her beam with excitement and it just makes my heart burst,” said Karis Almgren. “Grace has blossomed as a result of her experience on the basketball team. Her teachers say she has more confidence and she’s a leader.”

This year, Grace has been selected to recite the Special Olympics athlete oath onstage during the Opening Ceremonies for the Youth Games, along with her favorite athlete, Sarah Reinertsen.  

“It all started with the Youth Games and we haven’t missed one yet,” adds Almgren. “Grace still has fond memories of the time she met Sarah, who was there to cheer her on during one of her track events a few years ago.”

“Stories like this fuel our inspiration,” said Margie Hunt, CEO of Special Olympics Oregon. “Our partnership with Nike is something special. For our athletes to have the opportunity to come to Nike World Headquarters and meet their sports idols, while learning the basics of a sport, is truly something amazing for those that are involved in this incredible event.”

Since the Youth Games started 11 years ago, more than 3,800 Nike volunteers have given a total of 33,000 hours of their time. “Nike continues to be a phenomenal partner for us and we are so grateful to them for their ongoing support and dedication to inspiring greatness in our athletes for generations to come,” continued Hunt.

The Youth Games are co-produced by Nike and Special Olympics Oregon, and funded by Nike. More than 400 Nike employee volunteers help run the event, which is free to registrants. Participation is limited to youth ages 6-18 with intellectual disabilities.

“It’s an honor to host the 11th annual Special Olympics Oregon Youth Games at our World Headquarters. Through our support of this event and programs like the Unified Champion Schools, we’re committed to helping kids reach their greatest potential and creating more equal playing fields for all,” said Jorge Casimiro, Vice President of Global Community Impact, NIKE, Inc. “This event has allowed us to introduce the magic of sport to more than 5,000 young people with intellectual disabilities and underscores our commitment to getting kids moving through play and sport so that they can lead healthier, happier and more successful lives.”

• Jean Hansen, Vice President School Partnerships and Outreach at Special Olympics Oregon
• Jorge Casimiro, Vice President, Global Community Impact at Nike, Inc.
• More than 500 Special Olympics youth participants and their families
• More than 400 Nike employee volunteers

Nike Athletes
• Sarah Reinertsen – Paralympic athlete and first female amputee triathlete to compete in the Ironman Kona
• Zarek Valentin– Portland Timbers soccer player
• Patrick “Blake” Leeper – Paralympic athlete, eight-time Paralympic Track and Field international medalist and world record holder and three-time American record holder

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
10:00 - Opening Ceremonies
10:30 - Sports instruction
12:30 - Awards at individual sports venues
12:45 - Unified Champion Schools exhibition soccer game

Ronaldo Field, Nike World Headquarters
One Bowerman Drive
Beaverton, OR 97005
Media parking available in The Park parking structure. Enter Nike World Headquarters via SW Murray Boulevard and follow posted signs.

Chad Carter
Special Olympics Oregon
Office: (503) 248-0600

Dawn Myrah 
Weinstein PR for Nike

About Special Olympics Oregon
Special Olympics Oregon serves children, youth and adults with intellectual disabilities—the largest disability population in the state—through year-round programs that provide participants the opportunity to develop physical fitness though sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports, receive regular health education and screenings, enjoy ongoing mentoring from trained volunteers, access family networking and advocacy resources, and increase their overall quality of life in school, at home and in their communities. Special Olympics participants demonstrate courage, experience joy and are able to participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship. Their positive spirit, determination to succeed and innate human decency make them powerful ambassadors for greatness. For more information, visit and follow @SOORstate.

About NIKE, Inc.  
NIKE, Inc., based near Beaverton, Ore., is the world’s leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned NIKE, Inc. subsidiaries include Converse, which designs, distributes and licenses casual sneakers, apparel and accessories; and Hurley, which designs and distributes a line of action sports and youth lifestyle apparel and accessories. For more information, visit and follow @Nike.

About Nike Community Impact 
Nike believes in the power of sport to unleash human potential and build community. We fuel this belief through Made to Play, our commitment to getting kids moving through play and sport so that they can lead healthier, happier and more successful lives. Together with community partners and our employees around the world, we’re designing innovative solutions to get more than 14 million kids playing, running and jumping their way to a brighter future. Find out more about Nike's commitment to getting kids moving and providing opportunities for equal playing fields for all at

About Nike Youth Games


NIKE, Inc., and Special Olympics Oregon are excited to announce the return of Youth Games to the Nike World Headquarters campus later this year.

Last year's event brought more than 500 participants and their families to the Nike Campus to get an up-close and personal walk-through of Special Olympics sporting events, local support services for people with intellectual disabilities, and the chance to interact with local and professional athletes in four Olympic sports. This year's event is free to the first 500 registered participants and all will receive a free T-shirt, and lunch will be provided.

Youth Games is a partnership between Special Olympics Oregon and Nike to offer positive sports experiences and grow youth sports participation with Special Olympics and bring eligible families in contact with the resources they need to help their children thrive. The event is free to all registrants. Sports instruction and competition is limited to youth ages 6 to 18 years of age with intellectual disabilities.

» Map and directions to Tiger Woods Center


To participate in Special Olympics, individuals must be at least 8 years old and have been identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disability, a cognitive delay as determined by standardized measures, or a closely related developmental disability.

Participation in Youth Games is Step One in the introduction process to the Special Olympics programs. For Youth Games, participants can be seven years old (and younger with approval from the Youth Games Director).

An Amazing Partnership 

Special Olympics inspires greatness. Nike gets kids moving. Put the two together, and you’ve got an amazing partnership for empowering youth.  If you have a young person in your family who has an intellectual disability, we know you welcome any opportunity that leads to an active lifestyle for that child. We also know that you want that opportunity to be an enriching experience. Special Olympics Oregon Youth Games presented by Nike accomplishes that and much more. This one-day event is designed to teach your child the basics of a popular sport. At the same time, you and your child have the opportunity to sample Special Olympics’ life-changing programs--and to participate in the unique and enriching Special Olympics experience.

Online registration for Youth Games on Saturday, October 7th is now closed. We hope to see you next year!

Online registration for Youth Games on Saturday, October 7th is now closed. We hope to see you next year!

"The Nike Youth Games has helped instill us with hope, loving encouragement, positivity, inspiration, and genuine joy, which as parents is comforting. And it gives our little athlete the opportunity to thrive and shine..."

-Jos Tervo (parent)


Website links

» Healthy Athletes

» Family and Community Together (FACT)

» The ARC

» Family Involvement Network - 1.877.307.7070

» Down Syndrome Network Oregon

» Healthy Lifestyle Coaching for All Ages & Stages

» Therapy Solutions for Kids

» The Swindells Center

» Gul Reazee Grotto

» Washington County Sheriff’s Dept – Help Me Home (program for Wash Co.  residents only)

Disclaimer: Special Olympics does not endorse, rate, recommend, or evaluate resources, programs, providers, products or services and therefore, Special Olympics Oregon does not warrant nor guarantee the quality of the resources listed. Special Olympics Oregon believes that consumers are in the best position to evaluate and choose resources appropriate to their needs.Special Olympics Oregon makes every effort to verify all information prior to posting, but cannot guarantee that all information is accurate at all times, and consumers should confirm resource information prior to depending upon it.





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