On Tuesday, January 29th, the 2013 Special Olympics Winter Games began in South Korea with over 2,300 athletes competing in traditional Winter Olympic games such as figure skating, speed skating, snowboarding, and Alpine skiing. Speakers and attendees include Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi from Burma and President Joyce Banda from Malawi, who discussed in their addresses the social barriers faced by those with disabilities and breaking the cycle of poverty and discrimination that they and their families face.
The Special Olympics mission includes providing year round sport and competition opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, promoting physical strength as well the as psychological and social well-being that is a part of all team competition. This year’s opening ceremonies were attended by Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Michael Yudin. For more information on the Special Olympics or to get involved in your local chapter, please click here.
To read more about Mr. Yudin’s experiences at this year’s Special Olympics, see the White House blog.