Special Olympics World Winter Games arrive in Austria
Austria plays host to the Special Olympics World Winter Games in March, with over 2,500 athletes from 105 nations contesting medals across nine sports.
The Games were officially opened at a vibrant ceremony on Saturday, which saw the Flame of Hope lit and competitors pledge the Olympic oath:
" Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
An impressive 60 years separate the youngest and oldest competitors, who are eight and 68 respectively.
Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen said: “It is my hope that after the Special Olympics World Winter Games, the spotlight does not dim, but continues to shine for those with intellectual disabilities, with you serving as a role model in your home countries.”
Canada topped the medal table at the 2013 Winter Games in Pyeongchang with 109 medals (44 gold, 44 silver and 21 bronze).
The Special Olympics, the biggest international sport movement for people with intellectual disabilities, is the vision of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of former US president J.F. Kennedy.
The hashtag #playunified can be used to stay abreast of the action in Austria
THE NINE SPORTS
- Figure Skating
- Speed Skating
- Floor Hockey
- Alpine Skiing
- Nordic Skiing
- Stick Shooting