Moscow - Kazan, December 10, 2020: Representatives of the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Local Organizing Committee of Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022, and Coca-Cola Russia signed a partnership agreement through 2023.
Coca-Cola Russia and the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan are partnering to support Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2022 and other international sports events through 2023. The agreement was signed in the presence of Aleksandar Ruzevic, General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Russia; Vladimir Leonov, Minister of Sports of Tatarstan; and Maksim Denisov Head of Directorate of Sports & Social Projects.
Rustam Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan, said, "Over the past decade, Tatarstan has made a quantum leap in the development of sports infrastructure. Today, the capital city Kazan is capable of hosting large-scale international competitions. Support from the private sector is essential for a socially significant project like Special Olympics World Winter Games. We are seeing businesses stepping to offer support for Special Olympics World Winter Games as they did for the 2013 Universiade, the 2015 World Aquatics Championships, and WorldSkills-2019. I am confident Coca-Cola Russia will make Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022 both bright and memorable."
David Evangelista, Regional President and Managing Director at Special Olympics Europe Eurasia said, “Special Olympics is thrilled to see Coca-Cola Russia come on board as a key partner of World Winter Games Kazan 2022. The Coca-Cola Company has long been at the forefront of creating a more inclusive world for individuals of all abilities. The Games in Kazan promise to be an international sport and humanitarian event that will amplify the voices of Special Olympics athletes to the world. We are honored to have Coca-Cola Russia join us on this critical mission.”
Mickael Vinet, Senior Director Global of Sponsorships Strategy at The Coca-Cola Company, said, "As a founding partner and global sponsor of Special Olympics we are very proud of our 52-year relationship. We are particularly excited to extend our partnership now, when the core values we share are needed more than ever. One of our partnership's strategic goals is not just to develop a more inclusive society, but also to create awareness and opportunities for people of all abilities."
Olga Slutsker, President of Special Olympics Russia, said, “The vision of Special Olympics is a world where everyone is included, and the partnership with Coca-Cola is very important to us as it provides tremendous support for our athletes and serves as an inspiring example of a responsible and caring business. I am delighted to welcome Coca-Cola Russia to Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022, where we will transform attitudes about intellectual disabilities in Russia and create new opportunities for social integration for the estimated three million people with intellectual disabilities living in the country."
Xenia Byakhova, Special Olympics athlete, Russian track and field champion, and Russian snowshoe running champion, said, “I am proud to welcome the world to Kazan for Special Olympics World Winter Games 2022. These Games are an opportunity to show everyone what people with intellectual disabilities can do—on and off the playing field. Sports are just the beginning, and with support from Coca-Cola Russia, we can host athletes from all over the world and celebrate victory together."
Aleksandar Ruzevic, General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Russia, said, “In 2022, for the first time ever, Special Olympics World Winter Games will be hosted in Russia, an important milestone in developing a more inclusive society. Coca-Cola Russia has long-supported Unified sports between teams made up of people with and without disabilities. We see a unified approach to sports and want to help expand that mindset into everyday life. Coca-Cola Russia is proud to support Special Olympics World Winter Games and help put everyone on equal footing, regardless of ability."
Two thousand athletes from more than 100 countries are expected to attend the Special Olympic World Winter Games Kazan 2022, along with 3,000 volunteers and 1,000 members of the media. Athletes will compete in seven sports: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, floorball, short track speed skating, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. In addition to sports, the World Winter Games will feature immersive programming in health, education, and leadership for people with intellectual disabilities. This platform provides valuable, customizable opportunities for partnerships.
Coca-Cola Russia has long been committed to inclusion. In 2019, Special Olympics Russia was awarded a Coca-Cola Foundation grant to support Unified leadership through sport. The company has also created inclusive parks available free of charge to people of all abilities and organized unified matches for people with and without intellectual disabilities at elite sporting events in Russia.
About Special Olympics
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries and territories and more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.
About Special Olympics Russia
The Special Olympics Russia, founded in 1999, is one of the largest national programs in the global movement which covers about 130,000 athletes taking part in sports competitions throughout the country. Annually, under the Special Olympics program, about five thousand physical culture events are held at the municipal, regional, and national levels. Currently, the organization has regional offices in 62 Russian constituent entities. One of the key objectives of the World Winter Games will be to increase the number of participants with intellectual disabilities up to 200,000 by 2025.
Coca-Cola in Russia
Coca-Cola in Russia, which includes Coca-Cola Soft Drink Consulting, LLC, Coca-Cola HBC Eurasia, LLC, and JSC Multon is one of the leaders in the production of high-quality soft drinks and one of the largest investors in the Russian economy. Currently, Coca-Cola's investments in Russia exceed USD 6.2 billion. Coca-Cola in Russia provides jobs for 7,000 highly skilled employees and creates more than 60,000 additional jobs in related industries. In Russia, the product range includes the following high-quality soft drinks: Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero, Coca-Cola Cherry, Coca-Cola Vanilla, Coca-Cola Energy, Fanta, Sprite, Powerade, BonAqua, AdeZ, Schweppes, Innocent, "Dobriy", Rich, "Moya Semya", "Dobriy Pulpy", FUZE TEA, and Costa Coffee. Coca-Cola in Russia is implementing a socially responsible policy and takes pride in being an integral part of the Russian life and an active participant in the country's economic development.