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Stunning Opening Ceremony marks the start of Pre-Games 2016 in Austria

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Opening Ceremony of the Austrian Pre-Games 2016 in Schladming
The Opening Ceremony of the Austrian Pre-Games 2016 was a spectacular event involving 1,500 athletes and coaches. More than 6,000 spectators and fans of Special Olympics gathered to watch the extravaganza in the magnificent setting of the World Cup Stadium, Planai in Schladming. The Parade of Special Olympics Athletes from 22 countries including 9 regions of Austria and a breathtaking lighting of the Olympic Torch involving more than 80 skiers skiing in formation were just some highlights of the ceremony. Pre-Games 2016 are a dress rehearsal for the Special Olympics World Winter Games taking place in Austria in 2017. Another highlight from the Opening Ceremony was a performance by the Unified dance team called Ich bin O.K. (I’m OK). I’m OK is a professional dance group based in Vienna made up of dancers with and without intellectual disabilities. Ski star and Austrian Sportswoman of the year Anna Fenninger officially read the Special Olympics Athlete Oath together with Special Olympics athletes Johanna Pramstaller and Teresa Breuer: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Olympian and ‘Austrian Sportswoman of the Century’ Annemarie Moser-Pröll also took part alongside fellow Olympians Trixi Schuba, Christian Hoffmann, Felix Gottwald and Special Olympics Ambassadors Hans Knauss and Michael Tritscher. Pre-Games competition runs from January 11th - January 15th 2016. The Special Olympics World Winter Games will take place in Austria in March 2017. Visit www.austria2017.org.

About Me:

Communications Director, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia

Video:

of the Opening ceremony
Watch a short You Tube video

Related:

See photos from the Opening Ceremony on Flickr