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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


December 19, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Switzerland

60 judokas hit the mat in Switzerland

By Irene Ñanculaf

Sixty judokas in fine form after a judo tournament in Uster.

Special Olympics Switzerland hosted a judo tournament for more than 60 male and female judokas on 7 December 2014 in Uster. Three hours of throwing, pinning and other moves on the mats took place under the watchful eye of six referees from the Swiss Judo Federation.View Story Special Olympics Switzerland hosted a judo tournament for more than 60 male and female judokas on 7 December 2014 in Uster. Judokas represented eight clubs with one guest club participating from Germany. Once divisioning was complete, three hours of throwing, pinning and other moves on the mats took place under the watchful eye of six referees from the Swiss Judo Federation. All agreed that while physically demanding, the contests were equally as exhilarating. The tournament came to a close when judokas were presented with medals by Paralympic judoka Carmen Brussig who holds World, European, Swiss and German titles.

About Irene Ñanculaf:Irene Ñanculaf is responsible for PR and Communications at Special Olympics Switzerland.
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December 18, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Latvia

President of Latvia honours Special Olympics Athletes

By Galina Kanejeva

The Latvian Special Olympics delegation who represented their country in the 2014 European Games in Antwerp, Belgium last September were invited to meet the President of the Republic of Latvia Mr Andris Berzins. He congratulated each and everyone on their achievements.View Story The Latvian Special Olympics delegation who represented their country in the 2014 European Games in Antwerp, Belgium last September were invited to meet the President of the Republic of Latvia Mr Andris Berzins. He congratulated each and everyone on their achievements. In his speech President Berzins emphasized the role of sport in building confidence, strength and courage in life and work. The President was curious about sport "Bocce" as he has little knowledge about it. Bocce Silver medalists Janis Vitols and Janis Sneiders explained the rules of the game. In conclusion the President pointed out that the accuracy, analytic approach and strategic thinking developed in the game are skills that can also be useful in studies and in adult life. He also committed to attend Special Olympics Latvia national games in the next future. Latvia participated in five sports: football, athletics, table tennis, swimming and bocce.

About Galina Kanejeva:I am National Director for Special Olympics Latvia.
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December 18, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Israel

2014 Israeli Sports Awards ceremony‏.

By Reuven Astrachan

The three athletes - Yossi, Dorit & Tal with the award

On December 15th, three of our athletes (all took part in the European Games 2014) were awarded, with distinction, in the "2014 Israeli Sports Awards" ceremony. It has been, by far, the most important and significant award ever to include Special Olympics athletes.View Story On December 15th, three of our athletes (all took part in the European Games 2014) were awarded, with distinction, in the "2014 Israeli Sports Awards" ceremony. It has been, by far, the most important and significant award ever to include Special Olympics athletes. It was outstanding. The biggest achievement, as we see it, was the fact that our athletes were awarded the same award as the other athletes (Olympic and no Olympic) of the year. There was no "special" ceremony for us - we were there as equal.The ceremony was broadcasted live on T.V. The Sports Minister was representing the government and there were other officials and celebrities awarding the athletes. Before the introduction of the awards, a short video was shown on the big screen. A special television team took a day of filming our athletes in their training routine, interviewing their families, asking the athletes about the ambitions etc. The video included the footage from Antwerp (podium and racing with other athletes from Europe). Perhaps the most touching moment was when one of our athletes took the stage and thanked the team, coaches and friends in Special Olympics Israel. There was a big excitement during the ceremony.

About Reuven Astrachan:I am National Director of Special Olympics Israel
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December 17, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Poland

The Future for Special Olympics Winter Sports started in Zakopane

By Maureen Clarke

First Ski Camp for Young Athletes, Zakopane, Poland.

The future of Special Olympics Winter Sports is bright! The first ski camp for Young Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities took place at the ski resort of Zakopane in Poland.View Story The future of Special Olympics Winter Sports is bright! The first ski camp for Young Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities took place at the ski resort of Zakopane in Poland kindly sponsored by the Kim Samuel Foundation. 22 young athletes participated from five countries – Finland, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine from December 8th until December 11th. The ski camp trained athletes in Alpine Skiing and their families were given information and equipment in order to equip them with the right tools to start their own Young Athlete Program and Family Network Program. All families have committed to implement these programs in their own regions as a result of this great week. The ski camp included quality training on the slopes by experienced ski instructors from the ski school of Malgorzata Tlalka and her team. There were family training sessions for parents and Young Athletes in different key areas including foundation skills, walking and running; balance, jumping and catching.

About Maureen Clarke:I work with the Young Athlete and Family Programme at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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December 12, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Serbia

Special Olympics red ball debuts at Belgrade sports fair

By Milana Jeremic

(l-r) National Director Aleksandar Stanojevic, volunteer Milena Stanojevic,Vanja Minister of Youth and Sports Vanja Udovicic, and deputy to the minister Uros Zekovic.

A Sports Fair organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Sports Federation of Serbia was held in Belgrade 27-29 November, bringing together 77 national sports organizations and over 40 local sports alliances.View Story A Sports Fair organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Sports Federation of Serbia was held in Belgrade 27-29 November, bringing together 77 national sports organizations and over 40 local sports alliances. Special Olympics Serbia had the honor of being one of the 24 National Sports Federations that had its own stand. Over the three-day event, 45,000 visitors passed though the fair, many stopping to talk to Special Olympics Serbia representatives. Special Olympics Serbia presented the “Play Unified, Live Unified” campaign to visitors and arranged for them to be photographed with the campaign’s red ball. One special guest to the stand was Mr. Vanja Udovicic, Minister of Youth and Sports. The Ministry is an unwavering partner of Special Olympics Serbia. “It is very good to have Special Olympics in our sports family. Your work and all that you do in very important for so many people,” he said as he was snapped with the red ball.

About Milana Jeremic:Milana Jeremic is National Administrator of Special Olympics Serbia.
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Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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Email: mrabbitt@specialolympics.org

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Special Olympics Blog

Sport and Tech Team Up for Good

Now, thanks to Microsoft, athletes, coaches and families will have rapid access to useful information about their scores, times, personal bests, fitness and health. Special Olympics can use this capability to dramatically improve the lives of people in our Movement.  read more »

Posted on 2014-10-27 by Janet

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