Europe Eurasia

Special Olympics in Europe and Eurasia encompasses a diverse range of cultures, languages and customs. The region spans Iceland to Israel, Portugal to Siberia, Russia but we all have one thing in common – a passionate commitment to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities through sports.

2014 European Games will be held in Antwerp, Belgium . MORE
International Sports Press Association and Special Olympics become Partners LEARN MORE
HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco supports Special Olympics SEE MORE
NBA's John Amaechi launches learning disability sports initiative

Stories from Europe-Eurasia


September 19, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Belgium

French Basketball Legend Humbled by Antwerp 2014

By Maureen Rabbitt

Hugues Occansey signed as an Ambassador for Special Olympics France in 2013.

'Life changing’ is how French basketball legend Hugues Occansey describes his experiences in coaching the French Female Unified Basketball team at the Special Olympics European Summer Games 2014.View Story 'Life changing’ is how French basketball legend Hugues Occansey describes his experiences in coaching the French Female Unified Basketball team at the Special Olympics European Summer Games 2014. “Now I have another vision about the athletes. It has been a very good experience for me personally. I hope I will be a better person after these Games” he explained. Occansey, who played 83 times for the men's French national basketball team between 1985 and 1995 and was the 7th leading scorer in the history of the men's professional basketball league in France, coached a team of nine female basketball players made up of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities. They secured second place in Division 1A with hosts Belgium taking Gold. Occansey encourages more people to experience Special Olympics Games in order to remove the taboo around people with intellectual disabilities. “People are afraid because they may have never have met someone with ID. But when they come they know."

About Maureen Rabbitt:I am responsible for Communications & Branding at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.
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September 19, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Belgium

Special Olympics mean everything to Pieter

By Emilie Bruynbroeck

Pieter Schram

Special Olympics mean a lot to Belgian swimmer Pieter Schram, one of the Belgian ambassadors. Pieter, 17, has autism and has had a rough time at school as well as at home.View Story Special Olympics mean a lot to Belgian swimmer Pieter Schram, one of the Belgian ambassadors. Pieter, 17, has autism and has had a rough time at school as well as at home. He found it hard to structure his life. That is why he was always very fidgety and too shy to make some friends. Swimming has helped him to create some structure as a result of wich he is much more at ease and he can cope with his environment more easily.Pieter is very grateful towards his coach, his school and Special Olympics for giving him this opportunity. The motivation he felt after he qualified has given his self-confidence a real boost.Today he swam the selection round of 25 meters freestyle. At the starting shot, Pieter burst into the water in lane five. He could conquer pole position immediately and didn’t give it away anymore. Evidently he cried a cheer of joy with a time of 17.4 seconds. A time with which he has a big shot on a gold medal.

About Emilie Bruynbroeck:I am a volunteer contributor at the media desk in Antwerp Expo. I study journalism.
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September 19, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Belgium

The future is Unified - Chairman Tim Shriver's Interview with Athlete Reporters at Antwerp 2014

By Nolwen Grassin

Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver with the team of athlete reporters from across Europe covering Antwerp 2014.

Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver was grilled on his vision for the future of the movement by a team of Special Olympics athletes serving as reporters during the European Games in Antwerp, Belgium.View Story Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver was grilled on his vision for the future of the movement by a team of Special Olympics athletes serving as reporters during the European Games in Antwerp, Belgium. “I believe the future is all about Unified,” Shriver told reporter Martin from Austria. “I’d love to see more Unified Sports in every school in the world. I think we should have schools where everybody gets to full fill their dream through Unified activities.” Unified Sports is where athletes with and without Unified Sports compete and train on the same team and is a proven way of breaking taboos and building friendships. In the interview Tim also explained how he got involved in Special Olympics at the age of 16 after been tasked by his mother Eunice to organise a track and field event: “I was hooked because it was so much fun”. The reporting team are part of the Athlete Leadership Programme which encourage and support athletes to develop their leadership skills.

About Nolwen Grassin:I am responsible for the Athlete Leadership Programme at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.
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September 19, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Belgium

Antwerp 2014 Expressing Happiness

By Maureen Rabbitt

Mary Davis, President of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia with Tali Kornhauser, mother, artist and Special Olympics Advisor.

The relaxation zone in Antwerp Expo not only provides a place for athletes to rest and chill out but also to express their creativity.View Story The relaxation zone in Antwerp Expo not only provides a place for athletes to rest and chill out but also to express their creativity. Over the past week athletes and guests who visited the zone have been contributing to a beautiful and colourful work of art capturing the spirit of the Antwerp 2014 Games and Special Olympics. Supported by Coca Cola and led by Tali Kornhauser from Israel who is mother of athlete Lin, artist and Special Olympics advisor, the beautiful artwork carries an important message “We never give up”. Athletes, family members, volunteers and fans have all added personal messages over the past six days of what the Games have meant to them. Belgium champion boxer, Sugar Jackson, is just one of the stars who have left a message of support. “This art is a wonderful expression of the joy, love and endeavour of all our athletes. It will last as a testament to what Antwerp 2014 has meant to so many,” says Tali.

About Maureen Rabbitt:I am responsible for communications and branding at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia.
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September 19, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Belgium

Athlete Reporting Team at the European Games

By Nolwen Grassin

Interviewing Tim Shriver. Michaela Fenech Conti (Malta), Martin Raith (Austria), Federica Borla and Matilde d'Ago (Italy) take the lead of our reporting team.

In anticipation for the upcoming Regional Leadership Conference, a group of athlete reporters are gathering a report of the 2014 Special Olympics European Games through their own eyes.View Story In anticipation for the upcoming Regional Leadership Conference, a group of athlete reporters are gathering a report of the 2014 Special Olympics European Games through their own eyes. The report is made of multimedia content: video clips, sound, photos and comments on a variety of topics. "Some of our preferred moments so far were filming during Opening Ceremony and having a private interview with Tim Shriver," the group said. The website is created by athletes and for athletes. Competing delegations are also invited to play an active take part and share their photos, stories and comments. The reporters then edit and include this information in their work. The final website (www.sowiki2014.eu) will be a collection of easy build websites called WIKIS (wiki wiki means "Quick" in Hawaiian). The technology behind developing it was developed by the RIX Centre based in London (http://www.rixcentre.org)

About Nolwen Grassin:Athlete Leadership for Special Olympics in Europe Eurasia
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Upcoming Events Around the World


Date

Event

Location

Sep 20 - 21 2014

Special Olympics Unified Volleyball Tournament

Join us on September 20-21 at the Atlas Arena in Lódz, Poland during the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) Men’s World Championship where athletes and unified partners from Special Olympics Poland will compete in a Unified volleyball match just before the final. Hope to see you there!
For more information
Krzysztof Krukowski
Email: kkrukowski@specialolympics.org
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Atlas Arena
Lódz, Poland
POLAND


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Special Olympics Contact Information


Special Olympics Europe Eurasia
3rd Floor, Morrison Chambers
32 Nassau Street
Dublin 2
Ireland

Office: +353 1 675-5710
Fax: +353 1 707-1748
Email: mrabbitt@specialolympics.org

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Special Olympics Blog

Bursting with Pride

"I’m looking forward to the day when Mary will become a Special Olympics Young Athlete. I cannot wait."read more »

Posted on 2014-07-25 by Ryan

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