January 29 - February 05, 2013

CGDC at the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2013 in PyeongChang

The CGDC President Petar Stoyanov, Secretary General Stamen Stantchev and Managing Director Oliver Sodeik attended the Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea to acknowledge their support for people with intellectual disabilities and their endorsement of sports as a medium to create change and improve the lives of millions.

The 10th Special Olympics World Winter Games officially got underway on Jan 29th after a lively and engaging three-hour Opening Ceremony at the Yongpyong Dome in Pyeongchang. Outgoing South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and President-elect Park Geun-hye, who will become the first Korean female president, attended the ceremony to welcome more than 2,300 athletes from 110 nations. The culmination of the ceremony was the Parade of Athletes presenting more than 100 delegations from around the world to the cheering audience at the Yongpyong Dome. CGDC President Stoyanov proudly led Team Bulgaria, Secretary General Stamen Stantchev walked out Team Uganda, and CGDC Managing Director – Oliver Sodeik – joined the parade in support of Team Monaco.

Emphasizing the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games official theme “Together We Can”, Special Olympics CEO and CGDC award recipient, Dr. Timothy Shriver, stated: “We issue a challenge to the world tonight to hear the voices of people with intellectual disabilities and end fear and stigma. Together, we can end discrimination. Together, we can change the world. Together, we will.”

The Special Olympics allow people with intellectual disabilities to display their talents and capabilities and is aimed at breaking down barriers that exclude them from society. The Special Olympic Games take place in South Korea for the first time after former politician Na Kyung-won – herself the mother of a child with Down syndrome – attended the event in Idaho in 2009 and was upset by the lack of Government support for the South Korean team. The Special Olympics World Winter Games, held from January 29th to February 05th, feature seven categories of sports including alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, speed skating, figure skating, floor hockey, and a demo sport – floorball.