The Games coincided with the 20th anniversary celebrations of Special Olympics Kazakhstan and were supported by the Agency of Sport and Physical Culture of Kazakhstan, Akimat of Astana city, UNICEF and the Ice Palace Speed Skating stadium of Astana - ‘Alau’.
320 athletes with intellectual disabilities from all regions of Kazakhstan, as well as teams from Austria, Russia and Uzbekistan took part in the sports of speed skating, skiing and floorball.
The Games provided the selection stage for participation in the Kazakhstan National team for the World Special Olympics Winter Games to be held in Pyongyang, South Korea in February 2013.
A number of significant and high profile guests attended the Opening Ceremony including the Deputy of Mazhilis of Parliament of Kazakhstan, Zagipa Baliyeva; Jun Kukita of UNICEF Kazakhstan; the Vice-chairman of Agency of sports and physical culture in Kazakhstan Elsiyar Kanagatov; Nail Nurov of Akimat, Astana city; the Master of Sports Veniamin Soldatenko; Head Master of Haileybury Astana School, Andrew Auster.
Krzysztof Krukovsky and Bjorn Kohler represented Special Olympics Eurasia/Eurasia.
Haileybury Astana school hosted the Games’ Young Athletes event involving more than 50 children and their parents from the cities of Astana and Karaganda. Young Athletes is the Special Olympics Programme which involves children from 2 years old with intellectual disabilities in physical exercises and regular sports activities.
Every athlete at the Games took part in the Special Olympics Healthy Athlete programme in 5 areas:- Fanfitness, Special smile, Healthy Hearing, Open eyes and Health Promotion. The Healthy Athletes programme is a central and important element of what Special Olympics does. The programme provides a preventive health screening service during Special Olympics events to our athletes by medical service providers who are experts in their fields. The Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan, the Republican Children's Rehabilitation Centre, Procter and Gamble Kazakhstan and Optikaplus all supported the Healthy Athletes event at these Games.
Thank you to all our supporters and sponsors and well done to all the athletes who took part. The Games were a tremendous success and a perfect opportunity to celebrate 20 years of Special Olympics Kazakhstan.
For more information
Maureen Rabbitt, Communications Director SOEE