Opening ceremony kicks off 2017 Special Olympics Winter Games
SCHLADMING, Austria — As the Flame of Hope was lit here in the Planai Stadium on Saturday night, more than 2,600 athletes from 105 nations took the Special Olympics oath promising, “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
The dramatic culmination marked the opening of the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.
Highlights of the opening ceremony included the Parade of Athletes, a unified choir, the final leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run staged by a team of 105 skiers, and remarks by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, and Special Olympics Chairman Dr Timothy Shriver.
“It is my hope that after the Special Olympics World Winter Games, the spotlight does not dim, but continues to shine for those with intellectual disabilities, with you serving as a role model in your home countries,” said Austrian President Van der Bellen.