Starkey announced that it will serve as the exclusive global supplier of hearing instruments for the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® Healthy Hearing program at the 2022 Special Olympics Unified Cup, presented by Toyota and modeled after the FIFA World Cup. The competition, which began July 31 and runs through August 6, is being held in Detroit, Michigan, and welcomes over 300 footballers (soccer players) with and without intellectual disabilities from over 20 nations. Starkey’s participation is a continuation of the global partnership made with Special Olympics International earlier this year, which pledged to increase access to hearing health services worldwide for individuals with intellectual disabilities; and follows Starkey Cares participation in the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games this past June, which provided over 100 Special Olympics athletes with new Starkey hearing aids.  

Starkey Cares volunteer David Kelley is shown with Special Olympics athlete Patrick Davis.

“Starkey Cares is proud to partner with Special Olympics at the 2022 Unified Cup,” said Starkey Owner and Chairman, Bill Austin. “Together, we are providing athletes with the hearing health resources they need to be connected to their coaches, teams, and the people who love and support them.” 

In partnership with Special Olympics International, Starkey Cares is providing health services and hearing instruments to Special Olympics athletes around the world, while helping make healthy hearing more inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities. At the 2022 Unified Cup, Starkey is providing personalized hearing aids, follow-up recommendations, and education on the importance of regular hearing screenings for athletes participating in the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Healthy Hearing program. Prior to the global partnership launch this March, Starkey had a long-standing relationship with Special Olympics, providing athletes with hundreds of personalized hearing aids at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi 2019, and the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles 2015. 

“We are thrilled to have Starkey Cares with us at the 2022 Unified Cup in Detroit, and we are grateful for their commitment to show up and support Special Olympics athletes and their hearing health needs,” said Dr Alicia Bazzano, Chief Health Officer, Special Olympics International. “To date, Starkey and Special Olympics have delivered over 2,700 hearing screenings to athletes and nearly 500 personally fitted hearing instruments. It is thanks to Starkey Cares that so many of our athletes can continue to succeed on and off the field.”  

Starkey team member Sarah Roggenbuck (middle) is shown with Special Olympics athletes, Sharita and Shaye Taylor.

This global event revolves around the common mission of celebrating the joy of sport and the power of inclusion through camaraderie, competition, and breaking down social barriers. The transformational concept of unified was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship. The men’s and women’s Division One finals will be streamed live at 2 PM EST on Saturday, August 6, from Keyworth Stadium – home of the Detroit City Football Club – to viewers across the globe by ESPN, the Global Broadcast Partner of Special Olympics International and the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports®.  

ESPN3 can be accessed by visiting: ESPN will also be producing an hour-long Unified Cup special that will air on Saturday, August 13, at 3 PM EST on ESPN2 titled Special Olympics Unified Cup Detroit 2022. 

Source: Starkey

Images: Starkey