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Europe Eurasia

Special Olympics in Europe and Eurasia encompasses a diverse range of cultures, languages and customs. The region spans Iceland to Israel, Portugal to Siberia, Russia but we all have one thing in common – a passionate commitment to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities through sports.

2014 European Games were held in Antwerp, Belgium. MORE
See the best videos from the 2014 Special Olympics European Summer Games. GO
Natalia Vodianova was among stars attending the European Games. SEE MORE
See hundreds of great photos from the European Games in Antwerp. See Them

Stories from Europe-Eurasia


June 30, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Great Britain

And Action! Downton Abbey cast raise funds for Special Olympics GB

By Suzanne Coogan

The cast of Downton Abbey with Special Olympics Great Britain athletes Daniel Wolff, Greg Silvester and Georgina Maton.

The cast of the acclaimed period drama Downton Abbey came together ahead of the final series to host an extraordinary Downton Abbey Gala Dinner in aid of Special Olympics Great Britain.View Story The cast of the acclaimed period drama Downton Abbey came together ahead of the final series to host an extraordinary Downton Abbey Gala Dinner in aid of Special Olympics Great Britain. The event saw Jim Carter, Hugh Bonneville, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nichols, Alan Leech and other cast members unite for an unforgettable cabaret performance and a thrilling night of fundraising. Held at London’s Landmark Hotel, the Downton Abbey Gala Dinner offered fans the unique opportunity to immerse themselves into the magical drama and to raise funds for Special Olympics Great Britain. The final series of Downton Abbey is set to commence this Autumn.The Gala evening saw cast members mingle with Special Olympics athletes including Board member Greg Silvester, runner Daniel Wolff and equestrian athlete Georgina Maton. Special Olympics Ambassador and former FA Cup manager, Lawrie McMenemy also attended as did other Downton Abbey stars Phyllis Logan, Joanne Froggatt, Penelope Wilton, Samantha Bond and Kevin Doyle.

About Suzanne Coogan:Senior Manager, Media and Public Awareness Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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June 25, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Turkey

Families stand behind Unified School Program in Turkey

By Özge Özkan

Sabahat Demirtaş (l) and Tuncay Demirtaş (right) and their daughter Buket.

Parents are weighing in on the value of the Unified Schools Program in Turkey. Muradiye Akalar is the mother of twins Aral and Ural, aged 4, who participate in inclusive equestrian activities in Samsun on the north coast of Turkey. “I don’t want people to look at my children in a different way."View Story Parents are weighing in on the value of the Unified Schools Program in Turkey. Muradiye Akalar is the mother of twins Aral and Ural, aged 4, who participate in inclusive equestrian activities in Samsun on the north coast of Turkey. “I don’t want people to look at my children in a different way. Through this program, all children, with and without disabilities, share the same environment. This has helped me and my children become more confident.” Sabahat Demirtaş and Tuncay Demirtaş, also from Samsun, can see the impact of the program on their daughter, Buket, aged 28, a swimmer. “Buket feels free and happy in the water and it is good to see her make new friends and gain confidence when she interacts with Unified partners,” said her mother Sabahat. The Unified Schools Program, supported by the Sabanci Foundation, involves 800 children and youths from schools, clubs and universities who participate in inclusive sport, education and volunteering activities.

About Özge Özkan :Özge Özkan is involved in community impact initiatives in Special Olympics Turkey including Youth and Schools and Healthy Athletes.
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June 25, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Israel

SO Israel- First Athlete Leadership Seminar completed (ALP’s)

By Reuven Astrachan

Sixteen athletes from different sports had completed the first Athlete Leadership seminar that was held by Special Olympics Israel. Their parents were amazed at the big difference they saw in their athletes, before and after the course.View Story Sixteen athletes from different sports had completed the first Athlete Leadership seminar that was held by Special Olympics Israel. The athletes met 6 times at the Wingate Sport Institute, on Fridays, for about 3 hours every meeting. During the seminar the athletes learned how to deliver a short speech. The idea behind this is to have the athletes themselves become the best ambassadors of Special Olympics. During the course, the athletes exercised standing straight before an audience, keeping their speech short (3 minutes-timed by a sand clock), keeping eye contact with their listeners, smiling while speaking, speaking loud and clear. A special session was dedicated to learning about the history of Special Olympics, the great role of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the philosophy of Special Olympics, unique things about the organization (such as Unified Sports, divisioning, Healthy Athlete, Youth Activation, etc.) . The goal was to get them to identify with Special Olympics and get to know the great picture of the organization, and not only focus on their sport, and themselves. Make them be proud to be part of this wonderful organization. When they felt ready ,a video was taken of each one carrying his/her speech before the class. They learned to listen to remarks given by buddies, and learned to remark to others in a friendly way- no offense, while analyzing each speaker.To the last meeting the parents were invited. Each athlete spoke for up to 3 minutes in front of the whole class and parents. Their assignment was to present themselves, the sports they take part in, talk about how Special Olympics made a difference in their lives, and share their future dreams with everyone. The parents were amazed at the big difference they saw in their athletes, before and after the course. They were moved by the new ability the athletes mastered so well. Five of the Athletes will practice their new ability as “athlete spokesmen” for the Israeli delegation at the LA World Games in July.

About Reuven Astrachan:I am National Director & National Sports Director
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June 25, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Austria

dont wait till its to late

By lynette

Hi, my name is Lynette. I am in a family with everyone having a disability, and it's so hard. People see me with my family and from that I always used to get called "retard."View Story Hi, my name is Lynette. I am in a family with everyone having a disability, and it's so hard. I am the most able one even though I have a disability myself. People see me with my family and from that I always used to get called "retard." Not as much anymore but it breaks me so much when I see my brother with cerebal palsy getting called retard or something like that. He is so defenseless, he can't tell them to stop or anything but when you get to know him he is the best friend anyone could wish for. He's the best character. It's cruel and unfair and people don't understand the effect it has on people.

About lynette:im 16 and my passion is to give back to the community for helping me and my family
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June 25, 2015 | North America: Southern California

U.S. First Lady Joins LA2015 Opening Ceremony

By Steven Vanderpool

The 2015 Special Olympics World Games is proud to announce Michelle Obama's attendance at the Opening Ceremony on July 25, 2015, celebrating the commencement of the world's largest sports and humanitarian event this year.View Story The 2015 Special Olympics World Games (LA2015) is proud to announce Michelle Obama's attendance at the Opening Ceremony on July 25, 2015, celebrating the commencement of the world's largest sports and humanitarian event this year. The First Lady of the United States serves as an honorary co-chair of the World Games with President Barack Obama. "The First Lady's attendance complemented by the diversity of these talented performers will make the Opening Ceremony an extraordinary moment for Los Angeles and for the Special Olympics movement," said LA2015 President and CEO Patrick McClenahan. "We look forward to sharing the excitement of the Opening Ceremony with millions of people worldwide."

About Steven Vanderpool:I am Senior Vice President, Communications and Media Operations, for Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015.
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Upcoming Events Around the World


Date

Event

Location

Jul 12 - 16 2015

European 7-a-side Football Tournament “Kim Kallstrom Trophy” by Gothia Cup

Fifth edition of “Kim Källström Trophy” the Special Olympics European 7-a-side football tournament to be held in Gothenburg 12th-16th of July 2015 as part of Gothia Cup. Since the start in 1975 this international youth football tournament has received teams from more than 140 nations. Over 1 million youth football players have taken part making the Gothia Cup not only the biggest but also the most international youth tournament in the world. The Kim Källström Trophy is cooperation between Gothia Cup, Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia, Special Olympics Sweden and the Swedish national player Kim Källström. The main sponsor of the event is Goodsport Foundation. The Gothia Cup is a tournament where the meeting between youth people from different countries and culture are a priority. We therefore kindly ask, that teams which are interested in participating in the tournament does not have an elite focus in their organization. This is a lead to equal the level of the teams that are participating in the tournament. The fourth edition of Kim Källström Trophy was held during 2014 with a lot of positive feedback from the 30 participating teams. The participating teams represented 13 different nations around the world. For 2015 our aim is to invite more international teams and to increase the number of female teams in the tournament.
For more information
More Details
Kristina Sager and Jonatan Sandberg
Email: Kristina.sager@gothiacup.se
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Kviberg fields
Gothenburg, Gothenburg
SWEDEN

Sep 7 - 13 2015

European Week of Sport

The European week of Sport is a new initiative of the European Commission to promote sport and physical activity across Europe. The week will generate new activities and also build on already existing successful initiatives in the European, national, regional or local context. This European wide campaign will inspire Europeans to BeActive during the week and encourage them to stay active all year long.
For more information
More Details
Suzanne Coogan
Email: scoogan@specialolympics.org
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Cities throughout Europe


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Special Olympics Contact Information


Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
3rd Floor, Morrison Chambers
32 Nassau Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Office: +353 1 675-5710
Fax: +353 1 707-1748
Email: mrabbitt@specialolympics.org

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Special Olympics Blog

Jean Vanier, a prophet of humility and simplicity, wins!

Today, the Templeton Foundation gave its most prestigious award to my hero, Jean Vanier.  For Linda and our children and me, he has also been our retreat leader, our teacher of humility, our guide. 

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Posted on 2015-03-11 by Tim

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