Special Heroes set to rise at 2012 Floorball World Championships

Special Olympics Athletes to Inspire Greatness during World Floorball Championship

Athletes to Inspire Greatness

2,000 Special Olympics athletes compete in Floorball in 17 countries worldwide

Zurich, Switzerland: The power of floorball to transform lives for people with intellectual disabilities will be witnessed at the 2012 Floorball World Championships on Saturday, December 8th. Special Olympics athletes will have the opportunity to reveal their skills by competing in a demonstration floorball match during the 2nd intermission of the first Semi-final competitions in Hallenstadion, Zurich, Switzerland. The match will start at 16.30pm local time.

Special Olympics Floorball teams from Austria and Switzerland will compete against each other in what promises to be an exciting showdown.

“It was very important for the International Floorball Federation to include a Special Olympics demonstration match during one of the greatest floorball events of year,” says Tomas Eriksson, President of the IFF. “If 'greatness' can be defined as overcoming obstacles with determination and heart, then there is sure to be even more displays of Floorball Greatness at this Special Olympics game.”

The Special Olympics demonstration match taking place at the 2012 Floorball World Championship is happening almost one year to the day when Special Olympics and the International Floorball Federation signed a proclamation to promote more opportunities in Floorball for people with intellectual disabilities.

“What a fantastic way to celebrate the anniversary of a great partnership with a demonstration match at the biggest Floorball event of the year.” says Mary Davis, Regional President of Special Olympics Europe Eurasia. “Working together, Special Olympics and the International Floorball Federation are using the power of floorball to create a world in which the largest disability population on earth lead healthy, vibrant lives grounded in sports, health and the determination to demonstrate their personal best to themselves and their communities.”

The 2012 International Floorball World Championship will start in Bern on December 2nd with Slovakia playing hosts Switzerland in a sold-out opening match. The title of World Champion will be decided on Sunday, December 9th in Hallenstadion, Zurich.
Floorball (referred to in some countries as Unihockey, Innebandy or Salibandy) is the latest sport to be added to the list of 30+ sports offered by Special Olympics. 2,000 Special Olympics athletes compete in Floorball in 17 countries worldwide with numbers expanding rapidly. Floorball is expected to be one of the highlight sports of the upcoming 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games taking place in Pyeong Chang, South Korea from January 29th to February 5th.

About Special Olympics 

Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to 4 million athletes in 170 countries worldwide, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and related programs. Special Olympics takes place daily, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities all over the world. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at  www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on:  Twitter: @specialolympics; Facebook; YouTube, and  specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com

About the International Floorball Federation http://www.floorball.org/

The International Floorball Federation is the Head organisation of world floorball. Floorball is a fast growing sport played indoors with sticks. In each team there are five field players and a goalkeeper. The goalkeeper has no stick.

The International Floorball Federation, IFF, was founded by Sweden, Finland and Switzerland in 1986. At this moment the IFF has 55 Member Associations. IFF is a full member of IOC, an ordinary member of Sport Accord and co-operates with FISU. IFF now stresses three different fields. These are: marketing, development and politics, the latter meaning in the field of sports.

For more information contact:

Suzanne Coogan/Special Olympics Europe Eurasia  scoogan@specialolympics.org

Merita Bruun/Information Manager
International Floorball Federation  bruun@floorball.org