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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
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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


March 03, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Netherlands

Introducing Europe's Newest Global Messengers!

By Maureen Rabbitt

Lize and Johanna - Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers.

Two Special Olympics athletes from Europe have been selected to serve as a Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger (IGM) for the next four years. Congratulations to Lize Weerdenburg from The Netherlands and Johanna Pramstaller from Austria.View Story Two Special Olympics athletes from Europe have been selected to serve as a Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger (IGM) for the next four years. Congratulations to Lize Weerdenburg from The Netherlands and Johanna Pramstaller from Austria. Lize has trained with Special Olympics for seven years, competing in national and international events in athletics and ice skating. For 10 years Johanna has competed in ski alpine, floorball, athletics and golf with Special Olympics. As Global Messengers Lize and Johanna will serve as spokespersons to spread the message and vision of the movement, representing not only the organization as a whole, but their individual countries as well. As leaders and message-bearers of the movement, International Global Messengers communicate the powerful declarations of hope, acceptance, dignity and courage of SO athletes around the world.

About Maureen Rabbitt:I am responsible for Communications & Branding at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.
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March 02, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Turkey

Yarkin and Furgan - new friendship begun!

By Serkan Ovatman

Yarkin and Furgan, unified football teammates and friends

Yarkın Gokcepınar (10 years old) and Furkan Simdi(11 years old) from Manisa/Salihli, in Turkey. They have started to play together in a Unified football team in September 2014 as a part of King Baudouin Unified Sports project.View Story Yarkın Gokcepınar (10 years old) and Furkan Simdi(11 years old) from Manisa/Salihli, in Turkey. They have started to play together in a Unified football team in September 2014 as a part of King Baudouin Unified Sports project. Since then, they have been regularly meeting at the trainings and they experienced their first Unified competition in December. Yarkin (Special Olympics athlete, left) enjoys playing football and he is excited that he is making new friends in his team. “I would like to practice even more with my friends from Belediye Spor. I am also looking forward to go with them to the cinema and picnic trips”. Furkan (Special Olympics partner, right) has never had any experiece with Special Olympics athletes before. As soon as he started to play in a Unified team, he begun to enjoy the Unified experience. “I would like the activities to happen more often as I would like to spend more time with Yarkin”. We are looking forward to hear more about this new friendship!

About Serkan Ovatman:I work in the sports department and I am Project Coordinator for ‘Having fun and making friends on and off the football pitch: social inclusion through Special Olympics Unified Sports Recreation in Turkey’’ supported by King Baudouin Foundation which runs between October 2014 – February 2016 in 6 locations in Turkey, supported by the Turkish Football Federation.
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March 02, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Iceland

Romania Inspired Young Athletes in Iceland

By Anna Karólína Vilhjálmsdóttir

#‎PlayUnified‬ also means learning from each other. This week @Special Olympics Iceland visited Special Olympics Romania to learn more about how to run a Young Athletes and school programs.View Story #‎PlayUnified‬ also means learning from each other. This week @Special Olympics Iceland visited Special Olympics Romania to learn more about how to run a Young Athletes and school programs. The Special Olympics Iceland National Director Anna was thrilled with the visit: "We were so warmly welcomed by our friends in Romania. They are working so hard to make a better life for people with intellectual disabilities"

About Anna Karólína Vilhjálmsdóttir:I am national director of Special Olympics Iceland.
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February 20, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Ireland

LA Galaxy and Special Olympics Ireland footballers reach up!

By Fiona Hynes

LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane turned a training session into a field of dreams for Special Olympics Ireland footballers yesterday.View Story LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane turned a training session into a field of dreams for Special Olympics Ireland footballers yesterday. The Irish football captain, who is in Dublin to face Shamrock Rovers this weekend, invited the athletes to a skills session where they got to meet several of the LA Galaxy players. This is the second time Keane has trained with the athletes. The football legend and his wife Claudine are supporting the 88 Irish athletes heading to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. He is urging the country to get behind them and help raise the €440,000 target to fund the trip. Full details of Special Olympics Ireland Support An Athlete campaign can be found at the link below.

About Fiona Hynes:I am responsible for Communications at Special Olympics Ireland.
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February 17, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: Germany

Wheels in Motion for Greater Awareness of Special Olympics Across Germany

By Tom Hauthal

The Special Olympics brand will literally cover the length and breath of Germany spreading a message of acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.View Story The Special Olympics brand will literally cover the length and breath of Germany spreading a message of acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. An articulated lorry that clocks 20,000 km a month is carrying the image of Special Olympics Germany athletes Nadine Stein and Kevin Eschler alongside retired biathlete & Olympian Magdalena Neuner. Magdalena is the most successful woman of all time at Biathlon World Championships. The lorry driver, Bernhard Doppner says "I am very proud to promote Special Olympics as I drive across the country." The articulated lorry is owned by Truck Company a client of Special Olympics Germany partners Wurth, worldwide wholesalers of fasteners, screws and screw accessories.

About Tom Hauthal:I am head of Communications at Special Olympics Germany
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Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
3rd Floor, Morrison Chambers
32 Nassau Street
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Office: +353 1 675-5710
Fax: +353 1 707-1748
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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