Special Olympics Russia athletes take part in Kazan Marathon

On October 11, Special Olympics Russia athletes took part in the Kazan Marathon. Five young athletes that took 2nd place in the football tournament at the Kazan Championship participated in the 3-kilometre race. They are Rifkat Suleymanov, Azamat Mumindzhanov, Irek Safin, Danis Nigmazyanov and Adel Vanyukhin. The latter is also the Special Olympics Russia champion in short track speed skating and futsal bronze medallist.

Participation in the race is a step towards the Special Olympics World Winter Games, which Kazan will host on January 22-28, 2022. They will be the first international event under the auspices of Special Olympics International in Russia.

Special Olympics athlete Adel Vanyukhin says, ‘Today my friends and I are participating in the Kazan Marathon. I am glad to be running with them. It is pleasing to be part of such a grand occasion. I am really looking forward to the Special Olympics Winter Games. I think they will give me and other participants the opportunity to find friends from other countries, communicate with them and take part in the competitions’.

Two thousand athletes and unified partners (athletes without intellectual disabilities) from 108 countries will compete at the Special Olympics World Winter Games. They will be joined by around 3,000 volunteers and 4,000 honourable guests and members of their families to make the event truly large-scale.

The Special Olympics World Winter Games are one of the most prestigious sporting events aimed at creating a truly inclusive world for people with intellectual disabilities. The World Games also provide an important platform for the functioning of the Special Olympic movement in the areas of healthcare, education and leadership for athletes.

About Special Olympics

Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is an international movement aimed at terminating discrimination of people with intellectual disabilities. It promotes inclusion of all people by developing sports and creating programmes in the areas of education, health and leadership. Every year the Special Olympics movement delivers over 100,000 games and competitions in more than 30 Olympic disciplines and unites more than six million athletes and unified partners and more than one million coaches and volunteers in over 190 countries and territories.

About Special Olympics Russia

Special Olympics Russia was founded in 1999 and is one of the largest national programmes within the worldwide movement. In Russia there are about 130,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities. Within the programme of the Special Olympics, about 5,000 sporting events are held for them annually at the municipal, regional and national levels. Currently, there are regional offices in 62 regions of Russia. Every year Russian athletes with intellectual disabilities participate in international Special Olympics events and take leading positions.

Kazan Marathon

Ak Bars Bank Kazan Marathon 2020 takes place in the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan from October 10 to October 11. Eleven thousand runners from all over Russia take part in the race along the main streets of the running capital. On October 11, the main part of the Kazan Marathon with races at 3, 10, 21.1 and 42.2 kilometres is held. The organisers have prepared a track with a small set of heights (96 metres) along the main streets of Kazan.

Since 2020, the Kazan Marathon has officially become a qualifying event in the Wanda Age Group World Rankings of the series of the world’s main running events, which makes it possible for its participants to obtain an invitation to the World Marathon Championship. Currently, only two Russian marathons participate in the qualification for the Championship. The Kazan Marathon is one of them.

Press Office of Directorate for Sports and Social Projects