Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Welcomes First Visitors to Healthy Athletes
June 26, 2011
Visitors like U.S. professional basketball player Yao Ming and partners such as UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and Past International Lions Club Director Ernst A. Musil were on hand Sunday as Joanna Despotopoulou, President of the Games Organizing Committee, and Special Olympics COO Brady Lum officially opened the Healthy Athletes venue. Following the ribbon cutting, athletes from Senegal, Puerto Rico, and Malta were among the first to receive free health screenings in six health disciplines.
The former first lady of Botswana, Olebile Masire, getting her bone density checked.
Healthy Athletes is critical in helping athletes achieve their personal best – on and off the playing field by improving their sports performances and overall wellbeing.
“If an athlete is able to see their coaches, their mother, their father, and their friends clearly, and they can see the smiles on their faces, can you imagine what that does to an athlete’s self esteem?” Audrey Reed, Executive Director of the Essilor USA Foundation, asked spectators at the ribbon cutting. Together with fellow global sponsors Lions Clubs International and Safilo, Essilor has made it possible for Healthy Athletes to give away more than 100,000 pairs of glasses to athletes in need.
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake was on hand during official opening of the Healthy Athletes venue at the 2011 Special Olympics World Sumnmer Games.
"Athletes are able to learn things here that they wouldn’t get otherwise. It’s a very valuable program," said Olebile Masire, the former first lady of Botswana, after touring the facility and even getting her bone density checked.
Open daily through July 4 at the Helexpo Palance in Athens, Healthy Athletes will provide screenings to more than 5000 athletes.
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