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.

HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco supports Special Olympics SEE MORE
International Sports Press Association and Special Olympics become Partners LEARN MORE
2014 European Games will be held in Antwerp, Belgium.
NBA's John Amaechi launches learning disability sports initiative

Stories from Europe-Eurasia


August 26, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Switzerland

IFRC Embarks on a Movement-Wide Disability Inclusion Strategy

By David Evangelista

As a testament to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) movement’s promise to individuals with disabilities, the IFRC partook in a global disability inclusion workshop in Geneva to develop a disability inclusion strategy.View Story As a testament to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) movement’s promise to individuals with disabilities, the IFRC partook in a global disability inclusion workshop in Geneva to develop a disability inclusion strategy. At the Council of Delegates in Sydney, a resolution was adopted to promote disability inclusion across the movement and ensure the adoption of a movement-wide strategy at the next Council of Delegates in 2015. Senior Officer of Humanitarian Diplomacy, Surein Peiris, gave a presentation on the partnership between Special Olympics and the IFRC. The key outcome of the workshop is the compilation of a draft movement-wide disability inclusion strategy. "This workshop provided the perfect platform to launch this important piece of work which will take shape in the coming months. Special Olympics is a very active partner of ours and we hope to draw on the technical expertise of Special Olympics during the external review phase," said Peiris.

About David Evangelista:I am the Vice President of Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics.
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August 19, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Great Britain

Conner and Comaneci: Volunteer Heroes

By Chris Hull

Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci pose with gymnasts from Special Olympics Great Britain.

Hannah Westerman is going to represent Great Britain at the next Special Olympics World Games. Imagine her reaction when she found out she would meet Olympic gymnastics legend Nadia Comaneci.View Story Hannah Westerman is going to represent Great Britain at the next Special Olympics World Games. Imagine her reaction when she found out she would meet Olympic gymnastics legend Nadia Comaneci. Not only meet her, but perform for her and have a 90-minute hands-on skills session with her. "Incredible," she said. Comaneci and her husband, Olympic gold medalist Bart Conner, devoted an evening to a group of lucky Special Olympics Great Britain gymnasts on 18 August in London. It was part of a decades-long commitment to Special Olympics that the couple has shared. Both are big fans of Special Olympics and are on the Special Olympics International Board of Directors. They volunteer their experience and knowledge to ensure Special Olympics gymnasts around the world get a chance to perform to the peak of their abilities.

About Chris Hull:I am the communications director for Special Olympics Great Britain.
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August 19, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Israel

In Israel, Mothers Made Time for Children with Intellectual Disabilities After Leaving Air Raid Shelters

By Robi Dolev

Special Olympics Israel mothers and 120 families that have children with special needs living in the Gaza Strip war zone came to a summer vacation in the north of the country.View Story Special Olympics Israel mothers and 120 families that have children with special needs living in the Gaza Strip war zone came to a summer vacation in the north of the country. We offered to make art workshops. When I asked the Special Olympics families who was willing to volunteer, the response was overwhelming. We included Miki, the bocce coach, who requested to join us to play bocce. We eight mothers set off on Wednesday with the bocce coach. We operated through stations, and many people came to join in the activities. The families spent hours with us, crafting, laughing and simply enjoying. We saw mutual assistance between siblings: What love did they pile upon their special brother/sisters. Eight-year-old Noya fell in love with 3-year-old Meir, a remarkable child with Down syndrome. “Can I take him home as a gift?” she asked his mother. Meir’s mother responded with “Such a gift from heaven comes, but once in a lifetime, and I am not letting him go!” It was an unforgettable experience for all.

About Robi Dolev:My name is Tali, I am the family coordinator in Israel, i encourage each time the family members to share stories.
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August 18, 2014 | SOI: Europe-Eurasia

Kevin De Bruyne makes people look at Special Olympics with different eyes

By Suzanne Coogan

Kevin De Bruyne as you've never seen him before. De Bruyne is urging his fans to support Special Olympics athletes with the same passion as they support him.

A very different picture of Red Devil soccer star Kevin De Bruyne has been circulating on the internet: the image shows Kevin De Bruyne with the facial characteristics of people with Down syndrome.View Story A very different picture of Red Devil soccer star Kevin De Bruyne has been circulating on the internet: the image shows Kevin De Bruyne with the facial characteristics of people with Down syndrome. He shared the picture with his fans on his social media site with the question ‘Does De Bruyne deserve fewer supporters now?” By doing this De Bruyne is putting his weight behind a brave thought provoking campaign by Special Olympics to break down taboos and stigma that surround people with intellectual disabilities in Belgium. De Bruyne is urging his fans and the people of Belgium to support Special Olympics athletes and the upcoming Special Olympics European Games 2014. 'Why do athletes with an intellectual disability get so little attention? They train hard and also deliver top performances’ said Kevin De Bruyne. From Sept 9-20,the European Summer Games 2014 will,for the first time,take place in Belgium,in the province of Antwerp. 2,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 58 countries will compete in 10 different sports.

About Suzanne Coogan:Senior Manager, Media and Public Awareness for Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
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August 12, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Ireland

Flying High – Dublin Club Marks Tenth Anniversary

By Liam Holmes

Sports Club 15 was set up in 2004 in Dublin, Ireland. I joined at the beginning when I was age 11.View Story Our Special Olympics Sports Club 15 was set up in 2004 in Dublin, Ireland. I joined at the beginning when I was age 11. There are about 50 members at present - 33 are boys and 17 are girls. Derek is our head coach and has been in the club since the beginning. Parents and volunteers help run the sessions. There are many sports in the club which include basketball and football. My sport is basketball. Two months ago Sports Club 15 marked its tenth anniversary with a celebration in Weston Airport in County Dublin. We all went flying on small planes. I went with my friend Paul, his dad and the pilot. There was also a lovely meal including an enormous cake. Following this we had a disco, speeches and presentations. My Mum and Dad came to celebrate the event with me. On the day we were each given a red t-shirt with a picture of a plane on it and we all kept them as souvenirs. I enjoyed the flying so much. I am so happy to have been a part of Special Olympics Sports Club 15 for the last ten years.

About Liam Holmes:I am 22 years old. I am currently in college. I have been a member of Sports Club 15 in Ireland for the past ten years.
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Upcoming Events Around the World


Date

Event

Location

Sep 9 - 21 2014

2014 Special Olympics European/Eurasian Summer Games

In September 2014 more than 2,000 athletes from 58 countries will come to Antwerp, Belgium for the 2014 Special Olympics European/Eurasian Summer Games and enjoy 13 days full of joy and friendship. The athletes will compete in 10 sports and be invited to join 5 supporting programs.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics European Games 2014
Email:info@so2014.com
Phone:+32 3 220 25 00
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Various locations, AntwerpAntwerp
BELGIUM

Sep 20 - 21 2014

Special Olympics Unified Volleyball Tournament

Join us on September 20-21 at the Atlas Arena in Lódz, Poland during the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) Men’s World Championship where athletes and unified partners from Special Olympics Poland will compete in a Unified volleyball match just before the final. Hope to see you there!
For more information
Krzysztof Krukowski
Email:kkrukowski@specialolympics.org
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Atlas Arena
Lódz, Poland
POLAND


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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

Bursting with Pride

"I’m looking forward to the day when Mary will become a Special Olympics Young Athlete. I cannot wait."read more »

Posted on 2014-07-25 by Ryan

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