In Berlin, the clocks are running backwards – at least for the employees of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. In two years from now, on 17 June 2023, they will face the turning point during the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. 7,000 athletes with their teams and accompanying persons will come together in front of tens of thousands of spectators when the world’s largest inclusive sports event is about to kick off.
“They will be games by athletes for athletes”, says Mark Solomeyer, National Athletes’ Spokesman and Vice President of Special Olympics Germany. 7 days of competition, 26 sports and countless opportunities for exciting encounters!
“We have already come a long way on this journey. Now we can feel how we are getting closer and closer to our goal every day”, says Sven Albrecht, CEO of the Organizing Committee of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. “In 2017, we officially announced our intention to host the World Games. Less than a year later, we have been awarded the contract to organize this huge event. Now, more than 70 employees from 15 nations are working at the LOC with great intensity and enormous motivation. And with every day that goes by full of anticipation, the stroke rate continuously increases.”
Dennis Mellentin is also fully committed. The Special Olympics athlete is furthermore a member of the LOC, athlete spokesperson and full of anticipation for the Games in his hometown. In the following video, he acts as a tour guide through the German capital, giving a little preview of the moment when the streets and sports venues are going to be filled with many athletes from 170 participating delegations from all over the world.
The most inclusive sports event in the world
By athletes for athletes – Marc Solomeyer’s main idea is put into practice in the Organizing Committee. The logo and the motto of the World Games will be presented this year. Both were created in exchange with and on the suggestion of Special Olympics athletes from all around the globe. “It was very good because I was able to bring in my point of view and my opinion. And I think that is a good thing – according to the motto by athletes for athletes”, says Conrad Kluge, two time medalist at the Special Olympics World Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi.
"Two years before the start of the Games – for us, this is a real milestone. The idea is becoming a reality, we feel that every day now. More and more communities are expressing their interest in our ‘170 nations – 170 inclusive communities’ program, the volunteer program is picking up speed and an increasing number of media representatives is contacting us. The Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 will help bringing change into people's minds – they are a demonstration for inclusion. That is why we are taking the event both to the streets and to the sports facilities. Inclusion will become visible and touchable," says Christiane Krajewski, President of Special Olympics Germany.