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“Everything was great, thank you Kazan!”

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From 3 to 8 February, Kazan hosted the Special Olympics Russia Invitational Games having gathered more than 500 athletes from 36 regions of Russia. This event was a kind of a test event leading up to the Special Olympics World Winter Games, scheduled for January 22-28, 2022. The participants shared their memories about the Games in Kazan.

Olga Tyurina, coach of the Krasnodar Krai team
“Organization is excellent, competitions were delivered at the top level. All the guys are delighted and happy. We came from the Krasnodar Krai and had a +13 to –13 temperature jump, but our team performed well. The guys have amazing emotions. Such competitions inspire them, bring adaptation, communication with others, and experience exchange. For sure it was wonderful to look at our enormous country. We had a sightseeing tour around Kazan that we loved. I am sure that in a year Kazan will perfectly handle the delivery of Special Olympics. Look what a wonderful campus is in the Universiade Village, outstanding infrastructure. Kazan will certainly succeed!”

Karina Arslanova, athlete’s mom
“I always have good impressions of Kazan. You know how to make sports festivals. Everything was well thought out, I liked everything a lot. Such competitions as the Invitational Games are 100% essential. For example, my daughter has Down syndrome. She can only develop in sports, and for the third season, we have been doing alpine skiing in the adaptive club. Sport is a niche where we can develop and enhance ourselves for many years to come. My daughter is busy, she has goals and dreams – to get to Special Olympics. It’s so great. Thank you very much Kazan!”

Mikhail Tatarkin, Head of the Naberezhnye Chelny team
“Special Olympics is very stimulating and motivating. It is important for the guys to demonstrate themselves, make conclusions, and build the plans. Through the communication in the Universiade Village the guys make a message for future success, a social environment is being created. This is what they go to the competition for. It is not so important here whether you win or lose. The main thing is to find yourself in sports and life. There are one-off events when the guys leave the sport after such competitions. Many go further and evolve. They charge themselves with emotions and positivity like batteries.”

Anna Sedelkova, Special Olympics Russia Sports Advisor in Figure Skating, Saint Petersburg
“Everything went perfectly well. The organization itself was great, flawless! Good job! This is a huge incentive for the guys, they are adapting to life. People work and see the world. We have been at seven Olympics in different parts of the world – Japan, Austria, America twice, and Canada. These competitions are very important for the athletes. People overcome themselves when they start doing sports. After all, nothing comes out right away. You need to do it a million times to break through and succeed.”

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