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Biggest National Games Ever in the Netherlands

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Crossing the finish with a cheer during the National Games in the Netherlands | Credits: Rachelle Photography
The biggest National Games ever have been held in the Netherlands! From the 1st till the 3rd of July, 2,400 athletes and 800 coaches were active in the cities Nijmegen, Wijchen en Groesbeek, where the National Games were held. In previous years the number didn’t exceed 2,000 athletes. However, due to the growth in athletes in general, three newly introduced Special Olympics sports in the Netherlands (basketball, bocce and golf) and larger accommodations during the National Games, this amount was surpassed. The Games Organizing Committee of the National Games also created a unique side-event: a walk along all the venues of the National Games. This attracted 850 people with an intellectual disability, who had the choice to march 2.5km, 5km or 10km. An easy and active way to visit the venues! This meant that a total of more than 3,200 people with an intellectual disability were active during the first weekend of July in the Netherlands! On Friday, all the athletes arrived in the Special Olympics Village, where most of them were accommodated. The Opening Ceremony was on Friday evening in a football stadium nearby. After the Parade of Athletes and all the other formalities, it was time for an unforgettable show of one of the top entertainers in the Netherlands: Frans Bauer. He got everyone up and dancing and made sure that the rainy weather was forgotten. On Saturday (divisioning) and Sunday (finals), it was time for the athletes to get active! There were 18 sports on the program, which all went according to plan. On Saturday evening it was time for a party in the Special Olympics Village, where the athletes danced the night away. Those who didn’t fancy dancing or wanted a break from the dancing, were able to visit Healthy Athletes, which was also accommodated in the Special Olympics Village. It was a weekend for the athletes which they won’t forget any time soon!

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A Dutch recap of the Nationale Games in the Netherlands | Credits: Omroep Gelderland
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