On 29 January - 4 February 2022, Kazan hosts the II Special Olympics Russia Winter Invitational Games.

SOI representatives appraised how Kazan is getting ready for SO World Winter Games


Representatives Special Olympics International of visited Kazan. Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics Mary Davis, Chief of Sport and Competition Louis Lauria and Regional President & Managing Director, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia David Evangelista examined Special Olympics World Winter Games facilities and discussed further steps to prepare for the competitions.

Participants of the official delegations together with the Ministry of sport of Tatarstan representatives and Head of Special Olympics Russia Olga Slutsker visited sport facilities for short-track, figure skating, skiing and snowshoeing. They also examined accommodation for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Head of Tatarstan Republic Rustam Minnikhanov held an official meeting with SOI representatives, where they discussed SO World Winter Games postponement, as well as safety measures for athletes with ID.

Rustam Minnikhanov noted that holding the Games is a big challenge for the region. He thanked for the trust that was shown to Kazan while determining the host city of the competition.

“This is a significant event for us,” Rustam Minnikhanov said. According to the President of Tatarstan, one of the main tasks of the Games is to help people with intellectual disabilities to fulfil their potential.

Mary Davis expressed her confidence that Special Olympics World Winter Games will give an impetus to the development of an inclusive culture, both in the host country and around the world. “We are looking forward to the start of the Games. It is important to make the modern world more inclusive, more accepting", - she said.

Mary Davis gave a ball to Rustam Minnikhanov as a symbol that unites the world of sport.

The World Winter Games of the Special Olympics will be held in Kazan in January 2023. The sports program of the Games includes competitions in 7 sports: alpine skiing, snowboarding, floorball, cross-country skiing, figure skating, short track and snowshoeing. More than 1,900 athletes with intellectual disabilities and unified partners from 100 countries will take part in the competition.

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. Learn more: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and blog on Medium. More information on www.SpecialOlympics.org.

About Special Olympics Russia

Special Olympics Russia was founded in 1999 and is one of the largest national programs in the global Special Olympics movement. In Russia, around 130,000 people with intellectual disabilities are involved in physical education and about 5,000 physical culture events of the municipal, regional and all Russian levels are held annually under the Special Olympics Russia program. Currently there are Special Olympics regional offices in 62 regions of Russia. Russian athletes with intellectual disabilities take part in international tournaments annually in the Special Olympics Russia program with athletes occupying various leadership positions.