BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 23
One year from today, Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022 will kick off in Kazan, Russia, Trend reports citing Special Olympics.
More than 2,000 Special Olympics athletes from over 100 countries will compete in seven sports, and will be supported by 3,000 volunteers.
Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022 will showcase the power of a world of inclusion, equality, kindness, and joy. The Games aim to create inclusive communities by transforming attitudes about people with intellectual disabilities in Russia and around the world.
Mary Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics, said, "Special Olympics is proud to host World Winter Games 2022 in Kazan, Russia. Kazan has established itself as a city capable of hosting top international sporting events, and I am confident World Winter Games 2022 will leave a lasting legacy of inclusion in Russia and show the world that sports are a catalyst for inclusion and peace."
With 130,000 athletes, Special Olympics Russia hosts 5,000 sports events for people with intellectual disabilities in a typical year. The World Winter Games in Kazan will help Special Olympics Russia create social inclusion for the estimated three million people with intellectual disabilities in the country.
Olga Slutsker, President of Special Olympics Russia said, "World Winter Games Kazan will create an atmosphere of joy and kindness, breaking down barriers and conventions. When it comes to inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, we see that we are more alike than we are different. Sports have the power to bring people together, and World Winter Games Kazan 2022 will build an inclusive culture in Russia and around the world."
Considered the sports capital of Russia, Kazan has a deep sports heritage, and the city’s sports facilities, infrastructure, and established volunteer base have hosted many world-class sports competitions. World Winter Games Kazan 2022 will mark the first time Special Olympics has brought a global competition to Russia.
Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners will have the opportunity to compete in seven sports: alpine skiing, snowboarding, floorball, cross-country skiing, figure skating, short track speed skating, and snowshoeing.
The impact of every Special Olympics World Games is ever-lasting. Recent Games have left legacies of policy changes, financial investments, and measurable changes in attitudes.
In addition to sports competitions, Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022 will focus on expanding the organization’s programming in health, education, and leadership for athletes.
Caption for attached image: Elmie Gerhardsson represents Special Olympics Sweden during the alpine skiing slalom competition at the Special Olympics Sweden Invitational Games in Östersund and Åre in February 2020.
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Unified partners in over 190 countries and territories and more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year.
Special Olympics World Games are held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, and are broadcast worldwide by ESPN, the official TV and radio broadcasting partner of the Special Olympics movement.
Special Olympics Russia was founded in 1999 and is one of the largest national programs in the global Special Olympics movement. In Russia, around 130,000 people with intellectual disabilities are involved in physical education and about 5,000 physical culture events of the municipal, regional, and all Russian levels are held annually under the Special Olympics Russia program.
Currently, there are Special Olympics regional offices in 62 regions of Russia. Russian athletes with intellectual disabilities take part in international tournaments annually in the Special Olympics Russia program with athletes occupying various leadership positions.
Special Olympics provides sports training throughout the year in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Training of future Special Olympics participants has already started around Russia. Russian athletes with intellectual disabilities can join a team in their region on the website: https://specialolympics.ru/programs.