Countdown to the Games
17-25 June 2023

Exciting times ahead: Let's take a look behind the scenes

The photo shows all participants of the press conference, among other many athletes, Sven Albrecht, Timothy Shriver and Ian Harper. Everyone has their arms raised in joy.
Joerg Brueggemann / OSTKREUZ

Before focussing on the Special Olympics World Games, it is time to take a look at the approaching National Games Berlin 2022 as well as at the current status of preparations behind the scenes of the organizing committee.

The week from 26 to 29 April was all about the National Games #Berlin2022 and the World Games #Berlin2023. Here is an overview of what was going on during the four days:

Prominent visitors

We welcomed two high-profile guests with Timothy Shriver (President of Special Olympics International and son of Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver) and Ian Harper (Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger and former Special Olympics athlete).

Attending numerous politically relevant appointments such as the Parliamentary Evening of the Berlin Senate or the Ambassadors' Reception, the two also found the time to get to know the staff of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC).

And not only that: Arthur Hackenthal, LOC staff member and activist, had the opportunity to conduct an exciting interview with both of them. Watch for more on our social media channels soon.

Press conference in Rudolf-Harbig-Halle

On 28 April, a big press conference with many media representatives took place in the Rudolf-Harbig-Halle in Berlin's Olympic Park. In June 2022, the boccia competitions of the National Games will be held here.

In addition to Timothy Shriver, Christiane Krajewski (President Special Olympics Germany), Iris Spranger (Senator for the Interior and Sport Berlin) and Sven Albrecht (CEO of the LOC) were also on site. The press conference was moderated by Daniela Ulbing.

But since our intention is to create an event "by athletes, for athletes", the focus was on once again on them. We were especially happy about the participation of our faces of the games Robert Herberg and Lilly Binder as well as our athlete spokesperson and LOC staff member Dennis Mellentin. In addition, athletes from the LWB Lichtenberger Werkstatt, the VfJ Werkstätten and the Häusler-Schule also gave an impression of their sports.

"Come along, everyone, and see what we can do - and join in!" invites cyclist Robert Herberg. Lilly Binder, active in the athletics relay as a Unified partner, joins in: "That's right, try it out, be there and have fun!"

At the end, all participating media representatives were able to ask their open questions about the upcoming event before saying goodbye well informed, inspired and full of anticipation.

The photo shows Timothy Shriver, Arthur Hackenthal and Ian Harper conducting an interview and clearly enjoying themselves.
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The photo shows Special Olympics International Chairman Timothy Shriver and Global Ambassador Ian Harper each with a bouquet of flowers in their hands and a smile on their faces.
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In the photo there are two female athletes doing a sports demonstration during the press conference. At the moment of the picture one athlete is handing over the baton.
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The photo shows the reception at the Rotes Rathaus in Berlin, where LOC employees are ready with colorfully branded materials. They smile happily into the camera and present our events to the guests.
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The photo shows all participants of the press conference, among other many athletes, Sven Albrecht, Timothy Shriver and Ian Harper. Everyone has their arms raised in joy.
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In the photo you can see our face of the National Games Robert Herberg holding a Special Olympics flag and smiling at the camera.
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The picture shows Katarina Witt, former figure skater and chairwoman of the Katarina Witt Foundation, smiling as she delivers a speech.
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The photo shows two LOC employees holding up posters about "becoming a volunteer". They are part of the volunteer team and want to attract people to this work with Special Olympics.
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In the photo, athlete spokesperson and LOC staff member Dennis Mellentin can be seen speaking into a microphone.
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The photo shows five people standing in front of a car and smiling. The car is a Toyota because Toyota sponsors the Special Olympics events in Berlin.
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The photo shows a section of the World Games Committee meeting. In focus is Timothy Shriver, but next to him sit other people.
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The photo shows a group of people smiling together into the camera. In the middle is Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International.
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The photo shows a scene of the press conference. On it you can see Christiane Krajewski, President of Special Olympics Germany, and Robert Herberg, our face of the Games. Also standing next to them is Iris Spranger - the Senator for the Interior and Sports of Berlin.
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Meeting of the World Games Committee

At the end of the week, also on 28 April, the 6th meeting of the World Games Committee took place. Here all participants were updated both from the perspective of the international federation by Timothy Shriver and from the LOC perspective.

We were pleased to welcome Katarina Witt (former Olympic figure skater and chairwoman of the Katarina-Witt-Foundation), Juliane Seifert (State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior and for Home Affairs) and Frank Ullrich (Chairman of the Sports Committee of the Bundestag), among others.

The World Games Committee is the advisory body of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 with more than 30 members from sports, politics and society.



While the anticipation for the Special Olympics World Games in 2023 is already high, we cannot wait for the National Games to give us a first impression of what the host city Berlin is like celebrating a big party of inclusion together.

All information about the Special Olympics National Games can be found here.


Recent news

Berlin 2023 team says thank you and see you soon!

31 July 2023, 10:40
An unforgettable journey lies behind us. Together we have taken the Special Olympics movement another step forward, given Germany and Berlin an important push for more inclusion and created moments for eternity. And for that, we want to thank you one last time.

Successful Games and responsibility for everyday life

28 June 2023, 16:24
With a brilliant fireworks display in the Berlin summer sky and the extinguishing of the flame, the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 came to a glorious close last Sunday. It was the end of the Games, but by no means the finale in terms of what needs to be done for inclusion.

Extraordinary commitment – our volunteers at the Games

27 June 2023, 11:32
Our volunteers in their distinctive purple shirts were everywhere. Without them, the Special Olympics World Games would not have been such a great success for everyone. Therefore, they deserve a huge thank you!