Perth ‘preferred city’ for 2027 special olympics


The Special Olympics advocates for inclusion, health improvement, education, economic and social outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities. Photo credit: Special Olympics Australia.

The largest humanitarian event in the world, The World Games, has selected Perth as the preferred host for the 2027 Special Olympics, for the first time in history.

The event, which occurs every four years and attracts 8000 athletes from 170 nation, is a global sporting competition for people with intellectual disabilities.

Letters of support from Telethon Kids Institute executive director Jonathon Carapetis, Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall and 58 others were included in a bid by Special Olympics Australia that will be formally submitted in July.

“The 2027 Perth Special Olympics World Games would run for $136M, but will return an estimated $212M in economic benefits across inclusion, employment, health, justice and education domains,” Special Olympics Australia vice chair Dianne Claffey said.

“Professional services firms like Gallagher and Grant Thornton have come together and provided almost $1M in pro bono support to make sure Australia submits a competitive bid.

“We put Australia forward to win this bid as a sport loving nation and a strong candidate for embracing change.”

The Special Olympics expects 27,000 visitors worldwide to hit Perth if it were selected.

Tourism WA chief executive officer Rebecca Brown said the Special Olympics World Games will create a culture of welcome, and change Perth’s events scene.

“This event is expected to be held in Optus Stadium and bring in 500,000 spectators over the course of the program, tourism will be through the roof,” Ms Brown said.

“The revenue that the Special Olympics will bring in across all departments will be huge, considering this event is double the size of the Paralympics.”

Featuring more than 30 Olympic-type sports, including basketball, tennis and gymnastics, the Special Olympics World Games groups athletes based on score and age for fair competition.

In previoys years, the event has been held in cities including Los Angeles, Dublin, Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. The 2023 event set to host in Berlin.