Speed was indeed the name of the name at the Unified Speed Skating event in the Eisstadion Graz. Special Olympics athletes and honored guests demonstrated the skills and focus needed for this fast-paced sport.
The Unified Push Relay featured athletes Hsiu-China Hsu, Special Olympics Chinese Taipei and Sabrina Bichlmair, Special Olympics Austria as well as Olympic medalist Emese Hunyady and Special Olympics Global Messenger Lize Weerdenberg. In push relay, skaters pair up with one pushing the other, swapping places each circuit of the rink.
Next up was the Unified 3,000m Relay, featuring Olympic medalist and Special Olympics Global Ambassador Apolo Ohno and Special Olympics athletes David Peter, Special Olympics Hungary and Josue Cruz, Special Olympics Mexico. The relay is two teams of four skaters each, racing at high speed. The crowd loved the energy and pace of it.
Olympics Unified Sports is a fast-growing initiative that joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team.