Sports and Leisure

Join the Wonderful Winning World

The Emblem of the Special Olympics World Summer Games ATHENS 2011 is a radiant sun, the source of life that underlines the excellence and power of the athlete that takes part in the Games. Excellence is depicted in the olive branch and power in the spiral form in the center of the sun. The colors reflect the Greek landscape and project emotions like passion for life in the warm red, optimism in the orange, determination in the blue, freedom in the light blue and hope in the green.

Special Olympics Hellas was founded in 1987 as a non-profit, sports and educational association for the integration of Greeks with intellectual disabilities in the Global Movement of Special Olympics, offering them the opportunity to bring out their special abilities and show them to the global community, through their participation in international sports events. At the same time, they undertook the responsibility to inspire the Greek society and the state to respect the diversity of people with intellectual disability, their special needs and the belief that they are useful and equal members of this society.

Special Olympics Hellas is under the High Protection of His Excellency the President of the Greek Republic and under the Auspices of the Greek Parliament. It is an associate member of the Greek Olympic Committee and officially recognized by the Deputy Ministry of Culture (General Secretariat of Sport), as a Sporting Association.

The activities of Special Olympics Hellas today rely on volunteers.
The costs of organization and participation of athletes in competitions are covered by private donators and public bodies, while a respectable amount is covered by the State.

So far, Special Olympics Hellas offer participation opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities in twenty-four (24) Olympic-type sports:
Athletics, Swimming, Artistic Gymnastics and Rhythmic Gymnastics, Basketball, Tennis, Football, Volleyball, Equestrian, Table Tennis, Bowling, Canoe-Kayaking, Cycling, Weightlifting, Golf, Judo, Handball, Sailing, and four winter sports: Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Ice Skating and Snow Shoeing. From September to June each year, Special Olympics Hellas, in addition to training programs, organize Local, Regional, and Pan-Hellenic Games.

Greek Special Olympics athletes who have taken part in competitions, both in Greece and abroad, amount to about 12,000, are continuously involved in training, work hard throughout the year and demonstrate daily to Greek society and throughout the world that they fairly deserve equal opportunities with other Greeks, at all levels of social life.

Opening Ceremony – Closing Ceremony:

Lights, Camera, Action!!! The preparations for the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Special Olympics World Summer Games ATHENS 2011 are underway and everybody speaks about an Event where national pride will rise, since we are hosts of these remarkable Games organized for people with intellectual disabilities. The 7.500 Athletes from 185 countries that will march in the packed Panathenaic Stadium on June 25th and in the Panathenaic Stadium on July 4th , will shout to the whole world:

“Let me win! But if I cannot win let me be brave in the attempt”.

Fokas Evangelinos and his creative team was awarded the main concept of the by winning the open contest organized by the Organizing Committee for the Special Olympics World Summer Games ATHENS 2011.
Fokas Evangelinos’ creative team consists from the composer Stefanos Korkolis, production designer Ilias Ledakis, costume designer Elli Papageorgakopoulou and copyrighter Theodore Grigoriadis.
Furthermore, production consultants for the Ceremonies are Simon Graveling and Andrew Walsh, whose experience creating many of the world’s most memorable events includes the 2004 Olympic Games here in Athens. Fokas’ team is a mix of artists with international impact and with extensive professional experience in the organization of mega events.


Traffic changes will take place in the streets round Kallimarmaron Stadium, during the Opening (25/6) and Closing (4/7) Ceremony of the Athens Special Olympics 2011

These two days from 15:00 to the end of the Ceremonies, traffic will be banned in the streets and avenues:

Vassileos Konstantinou ave., Arditou, Vassilisis Olgas, Archimidous (from Eratosthenous to Herodou Attikou)

Schedule of the Games

From June 25th to July 4th 2011, in Athens, 7.500 Special Olympics athletes from 185 countries, from all ability levels, will compete in 21 Olympic-type sports.
To view the Special Olympics World Summer Games ATHENS 2011 competition Schedule please click here


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