21 African countries participated in the World Summer Games held in Greece 25 Jun – 4 July.Over 350 Special Olympics athletes from the Africa region travelled to Athens, Greece to participate in the Special Olympics 2011 World Summer Games.
This spectacularly successful 10 day sporting event included the attendance of prominent African public figures such as Lucas Radebe (International football player); Minister Lulama Xingwana (Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities in South Africa); HSH Charlene The Princess of Monaco (Former Olympic swimmer); Dikembe Mutombo (Basketball legend and Humanitarian); H.E Lady Olebile Masire (Former First Lady of Republic of Botswana); Mrs Kandjii Drusilla (Commissioner for People with Disabilities in Namibia); Hon. Shifeta Pohamba (Deputy Minister of Youth National Service Sport and Culture in Namibia) and Dr Veii Vetumbuavi (Director of Sport in the ministry of Youth National Service Sport and Culture in Namibia), who all made the journey to Greece to show their support for their teams and the African continent.
They were joined on the international front by prominent public figures such as basketball superstar Yao Ming, actress Vanessa Williams, actress Zhang Ziyi, and a number of football legends. TBC
Lucas Radebe described his attendance at the games as follows:
“Attending the Special Olympics World Games was an incredible experience for me. As a sportsman I was truly impressed with quality of the sport that I witnessed, and as a person I was completely inspired by the courage and determination of the athletes. Special Olympics is an extraordinary example of the power of sport to break down barriers and to create unity and inclusion. I am proud to be a supporter.”
In what was the largest multi-sport event in 2011, everyday odds were defied, victories were won, personal bests were achieved, and athletes from more than 170 countries showed the world what it means to play unified, and live unified.
Our African athletes competed against 7000 athletes from around the world. They returned victorious with a total of 354 medals.