Special Olympics | National Winter Games: Lighthouse for Inclusion: Special Olympics Winter Games open

As of: January 29, 2024 8:24 p.m

The national Special Olympics winter games opened in Oberhof in the presence of more than 3,000 people. The games have significance beyond sports.

The Special Olympics national winter games were ceremoniously opened in Oberhof. 3,000 people attended the festive event on Monday evening (January 29th) in the town square of the Thuringian winter sports resort Oberhof.

Sports Minister Holter: “Excellent conditions”

A total of 900 athletes with mental and multiple disabilities will compete in the ten sports of figure skating, floorball, climbing, snowshoeing, short track, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, stock sports and dancing until February 2nd and fight for a ticket to the Winter World Games next year in Turin. There are also 330 carers and 500 volunteers.

“I am pleased that Thuringia, with its excellent conditions and state-of-the-art sports facilities, can now host the Special Olympics for the third time after the competitions in 1999 and 2007,” said Helmut Holter (Die Linke), Thuringian Minister for Youth, Education and Sport, at the start of the games. Christiane Krajewski, President of Special Olympics Germany (SOD), was pleased that “after the World Games in Berlin, we can set the next example for an open and inclusive society here in Thuringia. Lighthouses like the National Games are an ideal starting point for to promote more inclusion and create encounters.”

Athlete spokesperson Eichhammer took the oath: “Do my best with courage”

The Olympic rituals were several highlights of the opening ceremony. The athletes Tatjana Raible, Jessika Maul and Luisa Brauswetter lit the Special Olympics flame, the Special Olympics flag was raised and the Bavarian athlete spokesman and Alpine skiing athlete Florian Eichhammer said the athlete’s oath: “I want to win, but if I can’t win, so be it I want to courageously give my best.” Sport in the East will report daily on the games that run until February 2nd.