BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The countdown is on to the Special Olympics USA Games, which take place in Minnesota June 20-26, 2026.
An estimated 4,000 athletes from 50 states will compete in 19 sports at the University of Minnesota and other venues across the Twin Cities.
Athlete David Booth is training now to try to qualify in all three sports he plays.
"I hope so," Booth said. "I'm certainly going to give it my all to make it."
While he's competed in state and regional competitions, this will be his first time in the national games.
"I am on the autism spectrum," Booth said. "Started in softball in 2018, poly hockey in 2019, and now I'm in basketball … It's really made me a better person. It's really just helped me become a better advocate for myself, a better representative and more importantly being able to be more loving and compassionate to everyone."
The excitement for 2026 is already building. Wednesday at Mall of America, Booth joined organizers and fellow athletes to unveil the new logo for the Games.
"We're calling the logo the Circle of Inclusion," said Christy Sovereign, CEO of the 2026 Special Olympics USA Games.
She says more than 30 athletes and coaches worked with the agency Droga5 to provide input on the design. The upper portion of the logo represents the USA Games, while the lower half represents Minnesota.
"You might recognize the Stone Arch Bridge, the iconic bridge, the water representing our land of 10,000 lakes," Sovereign said.
"Of course the torch, because all Olympic competitions have the torch," Booth added.
Booth was part of an athlete advisory council that identified 12 distinct elements for the logo.
"You add those pieces together, it creates something truly magical because it's diverse, driven in inclusion," he said.
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