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January 15, 2013 | SOI General: Headquarters

Welcoming Seven Countries to Winter Games

By Will Schermerhorn

The Special Hands Project, founded and supported by Special Olympics World Winter Games PyeongChang 2013 Organizing Committee, is bringing athletes and others from seven developing countries to Korea. The seven countries have never before participated in a Special Olympics World Winter Games.

 Also taking part are government officials from each of the seven countries. The athletes of the seven countries taking part in the Special Hands Project may also be participating in some sports and non-sports activities.

 One of the seven countries is Papua New Guinea.  The Special Olympics organization there is a Founding Committee and aspires to be an accredited Special Olympics Program.  

"There are many people with intellectual disabilities in the rural areas who are afraid to come out and participate in our programs," said Sophia Tuna, Interim Secretary/Treasurer for the founding committee in Papua New Guinea.

"I believe this Special Olympics program will encourage them to do so because it is targeted towards this special group and it involves everyone and it encourages participation, friendship and team work."

These countries are taking part: Cambodia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Vietnam.

About Will Schermerhorn: I am director of web products for Special Olympics.

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