Special Olympics Germany (SOD) support the decision of the international umbrella organization Special Olympics International (SOI) to cancel the World Winter Games in Kazan (Russia) at the end of January 2023.
"We fully support the decision," assure SOD President Christiane Krajewski and Federal Managing Director Sven Albrecht, CEO of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
"We condemn the war in the strongest possible terms and see ourselves as having a joint responsibility with the worldwide Special Olympics movement to do everything we can for a rapid end to the acts of war. For us, this includes imposing sanctions on Russia that affect sports and sporting events. We are very sorry for the athletes who were preparing and looking forward to their Winter Games."
At the same time, thoughts are with the Ukrainian athletes who are now suffering the most, like all people in their homeland. The SOD athlete spokespersons are currently consulting how they can support their Ukrainian Special Olympics friends in this difficult time.
Special Olympics stands for peaceful coexistence, for participation and inclusion, for encounters and friendship - and no one lives these values with such passion as the athletes. In recent years, Special Olympics has contributed to an improvement in the living conditions of people with intellectual disabilities in Russia as well. Now, these people are facing significant setbacks in participation. The acute threat of Putin's war against Ukraine creates new priorities for everyone.
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