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February 04, 2013 | Europe Eurasia: Kazakhstan

Just Being Able to Participate is Better than any Medal

By Karl Hejlik

Participating in her first World Games, Baglan Akhmetova from Kazakhstan placed 4th in cross-country skiing, but the victory for her is simply being an athlete. When she was 6 years old, she couldn’t walk and could barely move at all, according to Olga Bakhareva, national director for Special Olympics Kazakhstan. Thanks to years of training to build motor skills and participation in Special Olympics, however, she now very physically active and “the happiest I have ever seen her,” Olga said.

About Karl Hejlik: Senior Manager, Health and Research Communications
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