Sydneysiders can fund the next Special Olympics as they eat

Posted 7 months ago by David McManus
Cocktail attire is required for this star-studded event! [Source: Supplied]
Cocktail attire is required for this star-studded event! [Source: Supplied]

Here’s how to meet the stars in Sydney!

Key points:

  • On Saturday, October 21, the Reach for the Stars 2023 will be held at the Crystal Palace Ballroom of Luna Park, Sydney
  • You can hear about the experiences of Australian athletes competing alongside 7,000 others from around the world
  • After Australian athletes brought home 63 medals from this year’s World Games in Berlin, they’ve set their sights on 2027


Special Olympics athletes will be celebrated at a gala dinner event in Sydney on October 21, 2023, after taking home 63 medals from the World Games in Berlin. The event is a return to form following the three-year hiatus due to you know what.

However, the event is far from just another night to dress up in cocktail attire and toast to Australia’s champions, as tickets to the event will serve to raise funds for the next Special Olympic World Games in 2027.

A team of 64 Aussie athletes with an intellectual disability or an autism spectrum disorder took home a total of 63 medals across nine sports during Berlin’s Special Olympics in June. The national representatives won 15 gold, 22 silver and 26 bronze medals, as they competed in the following events:

  • Athletics
  • Basketball
  • Bocce
  • Bowling
  • Equestrian
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Swimming
  • Tennis


Michael Wheatley, tenpin bowling gold medalist at the Special Olympics Berlin World Games 2023, said the experience was a dream come true for him. Now, he’s looking forward to competing in 2027 after bringing a lightning performance to the 2023 Games.

“I’m really proud to have been picked to represent Australia at the World Games in Berlin. I loved spending time with my team and I won a gold medal in tenpin bowling,” the athlete explained.

“As athletes, we know the importance of teamwork and perseverance. I’m excited to take part in an event that brings people together to support athletes on the sporting field and make dreams come true.”

Michael was one of many athletes who have revelled in the experience of competing alongside 190 different delegations. Jonathan, silver medallist in the 50-metre freestyle swimming event, could not swim before joining the Special Olympics.

“Through sport, I’ve learnt to work hard to achieve my goals. Later in life, I hope to live independently and find a permanent job,” Jonathan said.


Hosted by renowned journalist and Nine News presenter, Peter Overton AM, with the support of Aussie icon and comedian Peter Rowsthorn, the ‘Reach for the Stars’ gala night will help them make it to the world stage again in the future.


Special Olympics Australia Chief Executive Officer Pierre Comis said the event will contribute to the organisation’s mission of bringing a brighter future for those with an intellectual disability and autism, helping them to reach for the stars.

“We are delighted to bring together our corporate partners, athletes, their families and supporters to help us raise funds and help Special Olympics to provide sports training and competition in communities and schools across Australia,” Pierre said.

“This night promises to be an evening of celebration and inspiration and we are grateful to everyone who is contributing their time and resources to make a difference and we encourage you to join with us to help Special Olympics athletes reach for the stars.

“Sport can help provide individuals living with intellectual disability or autism with personal achievement, pride and inclusion.

“Creating spaces for this in our communities across Australia is so important. I’m proud of everything our athletes have achieved this year and I’m looking forward to celebrating them and hosting more events that will help ensure we can continue this work.”


To book tickets for the Reach for the Stars gala night and hear from athletes who made Australia proud — visit the Special Olympics booking portal to secure your spot alongside the stars themselves.


Did you watch the Special Olympics World Games 2023? What sport do you excel at? Let the team from Talking Disability know through social media.