26 January 2022 – While Berlin will be the home of the 2023 Special Olympics World Games, all of Germany will play a pivotal role in welcoming delegations from all around the world to their country.
Today, the Berlin Local Organizing Committee announced its Host Town Program, the largest communal inclusion project in Germany’s history. Over four days before the start of the World Games, 216 towns from across Germany will host Special Olympics athletes, their families and international delegations.
Each host town will highlight what their individual community has to offer over the course of the four-day stay. This could include a welcome party on the town hall square, joint sports activities or excursions to places of interest.
The host towns will also encourage greater participation and recognition of people with intellectual disabilities. The program aims to create sustainable networks and partnerships that will last beyond the 2023 World Games with the goal of making those with intellectual disabilities more visible in sports and society.
“I am very much looking forward to meeting people from other countries and cultures. I want to show my home country to our guests from all over the world.”
Michael Lohfink, a member of the Berlin Local Organizing Committee and Special Olympics cyclist who took part in the 2019 World Games in Abu Dhabi, knows the magnitude of anticipation visiting athletes will have next summer.
“It is important that the athletes have the opportunity to find their feet before the hustle and bustle of the Games,” Lohfink said. “[The Host Town Program] will allow them to settle themselves, experience diversity and explore the area.”