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The Special Olympics 2017 World Winter Games


Sevde Coban, Staff

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The 2017 Special Olympics Winter World Games was held in Vienna, Austria this year from March 14 through March 25. The Special Olympics is an event for athletes all around the world with disabilities to participate in numerous sport events. The organization focuses on inviting individuals with mental disabilities to take part in Olympic-style sports. The goal is to create a comfortable, yet highly competitive environment for these athletes. This year alone, over 107 nations participated, with 2,277 athletes competing.

The opening ceremony on March 18 included performances from Jason Mraz and Grace VanderWaal, as well as a talent show from participants and guests. Their intellectual disabilities didn’t prevent them from expressing themselves in front of an enormous audience, full of encouraging people. Celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and over 800 media representatives also joined and supported the program.

The athletes competed in a variety of winter sports including floorball, floor hockey, figure and speed skating, snowboarding, snowshoeing, alpine skiing, stick shooting, and nordic skiing. Volunteers and family members demonstrated the most sustainment by not only donating to the cause, but also being present and cheering for the athletes. The organization’s mission of “Training for Life” kept the striving athletes motivated. Apart from the sport events, the organization also focuses on providing free healthcare for the intellectually disabled competitors and also gathers research information for the future.

Although the games occurred two months ago, there is still support and fundraising for the athletes who participated in the games. The constant donations go to the Special Olympics organization, to help mentally disabled people achieve their goals everyday.

Diego Azubel: http://www.austria2017.org/en/games-2017/die-spiele/sportarten/schneeschuhlauf





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The Special Olympics 2017 World Winter Games