August 6-21, 2022
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Para Sport and Special Olympics inclusion

Athletes with physical (para) and mental (Special Olympics) disabilities will be featured in select sports at the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. Specifically, para and Special Olympics (SO) athletes will be competing in athletics and swimming, while para athletes will also participate in sailing.

Para athletes have a physical disability, which might include a visual impairment, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, or spina bifida. Special Olympics athletes have an intellectual disability, a cognitive delay, or a developmental disability. These two groups of athletes compete separately, as they each have different and distinct competition fields.

Ultimately, the Canada Games are one of only a few events, if not the only one in the world where athletes with both physical and mental disabilities compete in the same Games as able-bodied athletes! Considered Canada’s largest multi-sport event, the Canada Games have included athletes with disabilities since 1993. Over the better part of the last 30 years, both para and Special Olympics athletes have competed in select sports in both the Summer and Winter Games. Canada Games also has a reallocation policy which works with provinces, territories, and sporting organizations if spots for para or Special Olympics athletes are not filled to allocate additional places for other provincial and territorial teams.

The Canada Winter Games sport program currently includes wheelchair basketball, para nordic, para alpine and figure skating for Special Olympics athletes. Conversely, the Canada Summer Games feature athletics and swimming competitions for both para and Special Olympics athletes in addition to a para sailing event.

Accessibility FAQ

Are service dogs allowed?

Yes! Service dogs are allowed at all venues, unless otherwise prohibited by law. Service animals need to be clearly identified and have up-to-date documentation. If you have any questions regarding seating arrangements or pet relief areas, contact us as the answer will depend on the venue.

Are the venues accessible for those with mobility issues and/or wheelchairs?

Yes. All competition and non-competition venues will be made accessible for those that require mobility assistance. Further information will be provided in the spring of 2022.

Will content be available in both of Canada’s official languages?

Yes. All Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games content will be available in both official languages (English and French).

Are companions charged for tickets?

Companions will not be charged for tickets! Persons with disabilities are permitted to be accompanied by their support person at Niagara 2022 ticketed events at no charge. Upon purchase of an accessible seat, one companion seat will be designated for the support person and the price of one ticket will be charged. The customer will end up with two tickets for the price of one. At point of purchase the customer will be instructed to “contact Brianne Whitty at for accessible seating needs”.

Questions or Concerns?

Do you have an accessibility inquiry or concern? The Niagara 2022 Access Desk is here to help you. Please reach out to us through our email
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