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Special Olympics Message on Europe's Leading News Channel

July 05, 2012

euronews’ One Minute of Responsibility campaign promotes respect, acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics Athlete Omar does a handstand on a stage

Watch the "Encourage Omar" video.

Encourage Omar

Dublin, Ireland:  Two Special Olympics Public Service Advertisements (PSAs) will air several times daily this summer on euronews, Europe’s leading international news television channel, promoting respect, acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.  

The free-of-charge broadcasts are part of euronews’ One Minute of Responsibility campaign in association with ACT Responsible, the non-profit association which serves to highlight how advertising professionals from all continents can use their core talent – creativity – to play a significant role in addressing today’s crucial social issues.   

"Encourage Omar” is the first PSA now airing until September 2012. It is a beautiful and emotive 90 second film which illustrates the power of encouragement for people with intellectual disabilities. Produced by international ad agency JWT, the PSA was filmed at Wembley Arena in London and shows Omar Haddad, a Special Olympics Great Britain athlete, preparing for and performing a gymnastics routine. 

Skeletons playing with a basketball

Watch "See the Athlete First" video

See the Athlete First

The second Special Olympics PSA, airing from September to November 2012, is called “See the Athlete First” and challenges viewers to get past first impressions and see Special Olympics athletes for what they are: athletes. The incredible digital animation showcases Mario Ogunbowale, a 21-year-old Special Olympics athlete from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The PSA was generously created by international ad agency, BBDO Worldwide. “We believe euronews has a mission to inform people about world affairs, without any bias, any filter. We believe the viewers should make their own opinion on world issues and that euronews has this capacity to make people feel more independent and more responsible; this is why we give the necessary airtime to support responsible advertising,” says Olivier de Montchenu, Managing Director euronews sales.

Mary Davis, President of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia adds: “The One Minute of Responsibility campaign gives Special Olympics the unique opportunity to educate the broader European community on the values of our movement – that regardless of your abilities or disabilities, there is a champion inside each and every one of us. We are extremely grateful for the support of ACT Responsible and euronews in helping us spread our message.”

Since 2009 approximately 50 public interest campaigns have aired free of charge as part of euronews’ One Minute of Responsibility campaign with ACT Responsible. The two Special Olympics PSAs, “Encourage Omar” and “See the Athlete First”, also aired at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity which took place from the 17th to 23rd of June as part of a unique exhibition hosted by ACT Responsible.

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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 nearly four million athletes in 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 all over the world, from community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood’s backyard to World Games. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship.

Special Olympics continues to grow thanks in part to the support of global corporate sponsors including The Coca-Cola Company, Procter & Gamble, Hilton Worldwide, Mattel and Lions Club International. 

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Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics;;, and

About ACT Responsible

The goal of ACT Responsible is to federate, promote and inspire responsible communication on sustainability, equitable development and social responsibility. ACT shows how advertising professionals from all continents can use their core talent - creativity - to play a significant role in addressing today's crucial world issues.

Our unique strength - The Advertising Community Together - Federating an array of partner, ACT Responsible brings together Industry key players, keen to share their commitment to Responsibility. Its reach helps gather forces and build a network facilitating the sharing of good practices.

ACT Responsible’s One Minute of Responsibility: Raising awareness of Public Service Advertising. This short program, created in 2007 with, and for the TV Channel euronews, features public interest campaigns several times daily. Every year, approximately fifty campaigns, all part of ACT Responsible collections, are aired. euronews through this programme.

About euronews

euronews is Europe’s leading international news channel as well as a full multimedia platform for viewers on the move. The channel covers world news and broadcasts 24/7 eleven services: Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian.

Every 30 minutes, euronews provides an up-to-the minute news bulletin with the day's top news, sport, business and live breaking news. euronews complements core news services with current affairs and lifestyle programming. euronews broadcasts into more than 350 million households in 155 countries via cable, digital satellite and terrestrial windows. The channel is also available through its applications for mobile and tablets and is the most prevalent news player on Smart TV.

Visit and catch up on all euronews’ programmes in 12 services (11 services + Polish).

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