Microsoft announces the 2020 Special Olympics Xbox Virtual Gaming Event

By Heidi Nicholas,
Microsoft and Special Olympics have announced the 2020 Special Olympics Xbox Virtual Gaming event, which will feature Forza Motorsport 7. The event will take place on May 30th at 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET, and can be watched on Mixer, the Xbox YouTube channel, and Twitch. As well as the tournament, the Xbox team adds that there'll also be the first ever Special Olympics award ceremony held in Minecraft.

2020 Special Olympics Xbox Virtual Gaming Event

On the latest Xbox Wire Post, Program Manager for Gaming for Everyone Jenn Panattoni says the Xbox team were "inspired" by 2018's video gaming tournament at Special Olympics USA Games. "That inspiration kept us connected to the Special Olympics organization", Panattoni says, "so when they were looking to adapt and find innovative ways to support their athletes during these stay-at-home orders, we realized there was an opportunity for us to partner and create something amazing…again!"

Panattoni recounts how Microsft and Special Olympics have worked together since 2014 "with the goal of empowering Special Olympics athletes and Programs through technology", and how "technologies such as Xbox and Microsoft Teams have been tools to bring adults and children with intellectual disabilities together in the face of a host of obstacles". Over 35 athletes will be involved, with 11 states represented. Special Olympics are "looking for new ways to connect, compete, and just have fun" during the restrictions of COVID-19, and stories about the athletes will be told throughout the event, so that the fanbase can find out more about them and their passions and feelings.

The Microsoft team includes information on volunteering, as well as how to donate your Microsoft Rewards Points to Special Olympics, with Microsoft pledging to match all point donations until June 30th. They also say you can go to their Flipgrid board to leave messages of support and encouragement to the Special Olympics athletes.

The tournament starts on May 30th at 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET, and you can watch the event on Mixer, the Xbox YouTube channel, and Twitch.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Hey, I'm Heidi! I've just finished studying a Masters in English Literature, but I've been obsessed with gaming since long before then. I began on the PS2 with Spyro, before graduating to the Xbox 360 and disappearing into Skyrim. I'm now a loyal RPG fan, but I still like to explore other genres — when I'm not playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey, or being lured back into Red Dead Redemption 2 or The Witcher 3!