World Games Updates
Twin brothers Albert (left) and Willi Kirchmayr were reunited after three years at the 2009 World Winter Games.
2009 World Winter Games Reunites Twin Brothers
Special Olympics unites the world, and at the 2009 World Winter Games in Idaho, it reunited twin brothers separated by time and thousands of miles.
Albert Kirchmayr and his twin brother Wilhelm “Willi” hadn’t seen each other for three years. Albert, a chocolatier in Baltimore, Maryland, learned at the last minute that Willi, a cross country skier from Peiting, Germany, would compete in the Special Olympics World Winter Games. Albert said, “I have to be there to cheer him on.” Willi began skiing three years ago and joined Special Olympics in 2007.
Albert flew to Boise and a Good Samaritan gave Albert and his friend, Donna Costa, tickets to the Opening Ceremony, but they weren’t able to see Willi among the thousands of athletes. The 50-year-old twins finally reunited in Sun Valley, Idaho, prior to Willi’s competition. Volunteers and Willi’s coach helped Albert and Donna get access to see Willi at the cross country venue.
Albert and Donna were standing at the end of the race cheering amid all the officials, volunteers and fans as Willi crossed the finish. They peppered him with shouts of “That’s our Willi! He’s my favorite athlete – he wants to hug us all!” Truly, this is the essence of Special Olympics. Willi finished fourth in the traditional cross country event.