The Twin Cities will host the 2026 Special Olympics USA Games, a competition every four years for children and adults with intellectual challenges. Governor Tim Walz made the announcement this morning (Fri) at Huntington Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. He was joined by U-of-M President Joan Gabel (GABE-ul) and other dignitaries. The Twin Cities hosted the International Special Olympics in 1991. The first Special Olympics USA Games, in 2006, were held in Ames in neighboring Iowa.
The governor says the Special Olympics Games will “showcase these incredible athletes” — and “the games being in Minnesota will give us an opportunity to showcase that this is a state where every single person can thrive in what they do.”
Walz says athletes from all 50 states, Canada and the Caribbean will compete in over 20 sports. He says it’s expected the games will bring over 115-thousand people to Minnesota, with a projected economic impact of 70 million dollars.