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Rustam Minnikhanov: Sport has no boundaries, and Special Olympics Winter Games prove it right

Today, the capital of Tatarstan presented the logo of the Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022. As the Special Olympics Russia President Olga Slutsker noted at the Ceremony in the Kazan Kremlin, the World Games are the main global event for 5.5 million people in 193 countries. “Many thanks to the Russian leadership for being able to host the Special Olympics Games for the first time in our country’s history,” she said.

“For me, Special Olympics is a family, a home where everyone is welcome. Here, they teach not to be afraid, to be persevering, and believe in yourself. It is a great honor for us to welcome the athletes from all over the world,” the leader-athlete, Kazan Games ambassador Tatyana Baranova noted.

The Aide to the President of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee for the World Winter Games in Kazan Igor Levitin thanked Kazan for its readiness to host the Special Olympics Winter Games. “We have delivered many important sports events, and you have always been at your best. I am certain that the Games will go to a high standard – from the perspective of both sport and humanism,” Igor Levitin emphasized.

“We shall not only deliver these Games successfully but also leave a legacy. So that everyone engaged in this activity – coaches, educators, teachers – can efficiently work in this field,” the Deputy Chairman of the Organizing Committee believes.
“Sport has no boundaries, and Special Olympics Winter games prove it right,” – said the President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov. “Special Olympics mission will reveal the main principles of our country – equal access for everyone. Holding these Games at the top level is our objective.”

Ilsur Metshin, the Mayor of Kazan, told that Kazan is anticipating to welcome the guests next year. “Over the past years, we have accumulated a huge experience of hosting international events and sports competitions, and after each of them, the most important thing that we have left is friends all over the world. Being one year out, we will be doing our best to get ready for the meeting with new friends from across the globe.”

The Games ambassador Ksenia Solovyova, editor-in-chief of the Vogue Russia magazine, is also assured that Russia will host the competition at a high level. “Special Olympics is not about comparing yourself to some imaginary ideal or norm. You only compete with your yesterday’s self. These are different achievements, they teach you to value every little step. I believe in sport and its great unifying power. I do believe that Russia will handle the delivery of the Special Olympics Games,” she uttered.

“Special Olympics World Winter Games are pure energy, it’s a sense of joy for different people, and you feel how big and different the world is. No matter which skin color and characteristics people have and which nationality they are – it all recedes during the Games. We can see and understand a lot here,” says a Games Ambassador, businessman Alexey Nechaev.

Special Olympics Kazan 2022ambassador, Olympic champion in figure skating Tatyana Navka pronounced that the opportunity to host the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Russia is a joy and privilege. “Such outstanding events should never be missed,” she said. “You should certainly come and see how strong, brave, sincere, and honest the athletes are who take part in these competitions. This Olympics is not just about sport – it is an event that heals the souls.”
The General Manager of Coca-Cola Russia Andy Buckingham delivered a welcoming speech to all the participants, as well.

Let us remind you that the Special Olympics World Winter Games will be held on January 22-28, 2022 and will make the debut as the first international event under the auspices of Special Olympics International in Russia. Special Olympics World Winter Games in Kazan will bring together 2 thousand athletes and unified partners (athletes with no intellectual disabilities) from 108 countries of the world. Around 3,000 volunteers and 4,000 honored guests and their families are also expected.