Special Olympics World Summer Games Athens 2011 Closes with Celebration of Athletes & Volunteers

July 03, 2011

For Immediate Release

Special Olympics Flag Lowered and Passed To Special Olympics World Winter Games PyeongChang, Korea 2013

ATHENS, GREECE - Tomorrow evening on Monday 4 July, Special Olympics World Summer Games ATHENS 2011 will come to a close after 10 days of competition among nearly 7000 athletes from almost 180 countries.  The World Games Closing Ceremony at the historic Kallimarmaron Panthinaikon Olympic Stadium will be a celebration of Special Olympics athletes, families and fans, as well as the thousands of volunteers who made the Games possible.

The Ceremony will begin with a pre-show at 20:30 with the ceremony formally beginning at 21:00. 
Athens, Greece will say goodbye to the thousands of Special Olympics athletes who have united this city and thank them for all they have done to provide hope and inspiration, as the ceremony will begin with a parade of about 300 athlete representatives from the nearly 7000 who competed in World Games.

After the parade, Greek entertainment will rally the crowd  of special artists and bands such as ONIRAMA (Thodoris Marantinis,George Kokonidis, Dimitris Kokonidis, Dionisis Fratzis, Kostas Karakatsanis, Christos Tresintsis, BATALA leaders (Stefanos Kontaratos, Stavros Kontaratos), ΑΕRIKA (Kostas Antaras, Yiannis Argiropoulos, Panagiotis Paglatzis,Giorgos Ntaftis, Kostas Giannoulakis, Eirini Paraskevopoulou, Liza Louka, Roubini Andreadou, Ioannis Limakis), STAMATIS KRAOUNAKIS BAND (Stamatis Kraounakis, Sofia Kakoulidou, Anna Laki, Aris Vlahos, Kostas Mpaltazakis), Alkistis Protopsalti, Dimitris Lignadis, Mirtó Papatanasi, Kseniia Simonova Giota Negka, Petroloukas Chalkias, Natassa Mpofiliou, Glykeria, Karagiozis performers (Athos Danellis,Constantinos Koutsoumplis,Nikolaos Loukakis, Achilleas Tsigas, Konstantinos Vamvakaris, Anastasios Dourmousoglos, Nikolaos Tzivelekis, Nikolaos Markis, Dimitrios Athanassiou, Nektarios Athanassiou, Aggelos Karatzas, Aris Karatzas), Elektra Nikolouzou, Maria Nafpliotou,  Dimitra Doumeni

PARTY PLAYMEN:

Lefteris Xenakis, Pavlos Manolis

Heather Small 
WONDER GIRLS
Sunye (Sun)
Yeeun (Yenny)
Sohee
Yubin
Hyerim (Lim)

MYRONAS STRATIS BAND (Myronas Stratis,  Alekos Kourtis, Alekos Voulgarakis, Platonas kapridis)

Eleonora Zouganeli

The official end of Special Olympics World Summer Games Athens 2011 will include the extinguishing of the flame and the ceremonial lowering of the Special Olympics flag to be transferred over to the Games Organizing Committee for the 2013 World Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea. 

The finale of the Closing Ceremony will be a concert by Korea’s own K-pop artists, The Wonder Girls, the number one girl group in Asia. While they are closing out the current World Games, they will also be serving as messengers of Korean culture and giving a preview of the 2013 World Winter Games.

Competition happened in 22 sports and a total of 12,000 medals were awarded to the athletes. The athletes will return to their home countries starting 5 July where they will be celebrated by their governments, communities, schools and families. 

“When we opened these Games 10 days ago we declared that we, Special Olympics, were home in Greece at the birthplace of sport,” said Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics and Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing President Joanna Despotopoulou. “The athletes of Special Olympics showed Athens and the world that they are real athletes that represent the best in sport.”

You can buy tickets to Closing Ceremony at www.ticketnet.gr.  

Special Olympics World Summer Games Athens 2011 lasted for the past 10 days, from 25 June to 4 July featuring more than 7,000 Special Olympics Athletes from nearly 180 countries around the world competing in the largest international multi-sport event of the year, featuring 22 Olympic-type sports.

About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 3.7 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs.  Special Olympics now takes place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in places like China and from regions like the Middle East to the community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood’s backyard.  Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.

World Games website:  www.athens2011.org
World Games Press Twitter:  www.twitter.com/athens2011media

Contact:
Mandy Murphy mamurphy@specialolympics.org

+202.824.0227

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