Countdown to the Games
17-25 June 2023

Louis Kleemeyer shows us what is possible

In the photo, Louis is seen with a microphone, talking to other people and laughing.

Today we introduce you to a special person with many talents: Louis Kleemeyer is a web developer, tennis player and organizer of #Berlin2023.

As part of the organization team of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, Louis Kleemeyer takes care of the athletes' needs with a lot of empathy.

As the winner of the National Games, Louis would have had a good chance to participate in the Games as an athlete. But he opted for a place outside the white rectangle.

I look at it from the athlete's point of view. I've been playing tennis myself for twelve years and know what to look out for, what the athletes like to see, where they can really dance and what they like to hear.
Auf dem Foto ist Louis mit einem Mikrophone zu sehen, er spricht zu anderen Menschen und lacht dabei.
Louis Kleemeyer
Tennis player and Games organizer

Louis is one of a total of ten people with an intellectual disability who are on the organizing committee helping to prepare for the Special Olympics World Games.

"It's the first time this has happened. The Games have been around since 1968, but it is only at these Games that we ourselves have the opportunity to participate," he says.

Louis Kleemeyer works in the department for the non-sporting events, which means mainly organizing the Cultural Program and the athletes' party. "I look at it from an athlete's point of view. I've been playing tennis myself for twelve years and know what to look out for, what the athletes like to see, where they can really dance and what they like to hear," he says.

Louis shows what is possible

"You also want to see yourself, so you can see what's possible. Because if you only see people without disabilities on stage, then you think, 'Oh, I can't do it at all.' But we just want to show that, if the conditions are right, people with disabilities can do it, too," Kleemeyer emphasizes.

The picture shows the professional tennis players Andrea Petkovic and Gaby Dabrowski together with Special Olympics athlete Louis Kleemeyer and athlete Samantha Eckert.
Special Olympics Berlin 09.06.2022 Special Olympics und - bett1 Open: WTA- und Special Olympics-Athleten spielen ein Unified-Tennis Match Pro-Spielerinnen: Andrea Petkovic und Gaby Dabrowski Special Olympics Players: Louis Kleemeyer / Intermediate Tennis Player und Samantha Eckert / Beginner Tennis Player Foto: Tilo Wiedensohler/camera4
Tilo Wiedensohler/Tilo Wiedensohler/camera4

Louis also wants to help other people with ID discover offers and activities. And he is doing it with his own web application called "Unique United," which is designed to help people with disabilities better organize activities such as sports, culture, education and travel.

"My problem used to be finding out what opportunities there were in these areas that you could participate in. But there was no platform for that. And so I thought, why don't I build that platform myself? I know how to prepare the information," says Louis.

Until the web application goes online in February, Louis is focusing on #Berlin2023 and his tennis, so that he can then successfully qualify for the Special Olympics World Games in 2027 and participate in sports again.

We wish you only the best and are very happy to have you in our team, Louis.

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities: What is Special Olympics?


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