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Nasdaq highlights the Special Olympics Unified Cup Detroit 2022, showcasing the world’s most inclusive sports competition

NEW YORK CITY, New York – Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) President & CEO, Tim Hileman, along with a delegation of Special Olympics athletes, staff, and supporters spread a message of inclusion throughout the world on Friday. In anticipation of the  Special Olympics Unified Cup Detroit 2022, presented by Toyota, July 31 – August 6, 2022, Special Olympics was invited to ring the closing bell at Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square. 

With a Unified Cup logo projected on MarketSite’s seven-story video screen, the Special Olympics movement was on full display in the heart of Manhattan, raising awareness of the ability of Unified sports – athletes with and without intellectual disabilities competing on the same team – can have to bring us together. A livestream of the ceremony, which reached millions of households around the globe, can be viewed here.  

“This event celebrates our athletes around the world that demonstrate bravery and perseverance in their quest for a more inclusive world,” said Tim Hileman, SOMI President & CEO. “Our partners at Nasdaq have empowered our athletes, by honoring them in one of the most iconic and widely recognized places in the world – Times Square.”

With athletes set to take to the pitch for the first football (soccer) match in just nine days, the Unified Cup will mark the world’s largest inclusive sports competition. Modeled after the FIFA World Cup™, Special Olympics Michigan will welcome over 300 footballers with and without intellectual disabilities from more 20 nations to the city of Detroit to compete in football (soccer), showcasing the power of inclusion and the joy of sport. 

“This is really cool,” said Anthony Baines, a Special Olympics Michigan athlete from Detroit who traveled to New York to help ring the bell. “I have never been anywhere like this before,” Baines said of Time Square and the Nasdaq MarketSite studio. “I see it on T.V. all the time, now I have been here and been a part of it because of Special Olympics Michigan.” 

The Unified Cup is expected to draw 10,000 spectators, 1,000 volunteers and 500 family members and dignitaries with the common mission of celebrating the joy of sport and the power of inclusion through camaraderie, competition, and breaking down social barriers. 

The men’s and women’s Division One finals will be streamed live from Keyworth Stadium – home of the Detroit City Football Club – to hundreds of millions of viewers across the globe by ESPN, the Global Broadcast Partner of Special Olympics and the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports®.

In the spirit of the Unified movement, Special Olympics Michigan is inviting all to play a role in the week-long tournament. Volunteers play a critical role in providing an outstanding experience for the athletes, families, and spectators. 

  • Media – Join us on the front lines to capture sportsmanship and athleticism at its best for a week of action-filled fun on the pitch. Find out more now and RegisterNOTE: Deadline to register is Friday, July 22.
  • Volunteers  Make history by lending a hand. All types and talents are needed to highlight the city of Detroit and the #InclusionRevoluton. Register.
  • Fans in the Stands – Get a front-row seat to all the action by securing your seat in the cheering section to root on teams from across the globe showcasing their football (soccer) talents. Register