A European Special Olympics Summer Games


On Saturday, 18 September 2010 , at Legion Stadium in Warsaw a European Special Olympics Summer Games started. On Wednesday, September 15, most of the teams landed in Warsaw. Majority of the team includes athletes with learning difficulties. Around 1.5 thousand athletes and 600 coaches from 56 countries arrived to Poland.  A European Special Olympics Summer Games are hosted for the first time in this part of Europe.


Fire Torch of Hope flared in Greece on 6th September, from the fire of love burning in the Byzantine church in Alexandroupolis. From there, the fire traveled through Istanbul, Ljubljana, Gibraltar, Luxembourg, Paris, London and Brussels. Straight from the Warsaw airport Torch enforcement of law for the Special Olympics coach went to the Polish provinces: Silesia, Podkarpackie, Lublin, Lodz and Mazury. From there, return to the capital. The relay runs from Hope Fire 120 law enforcement officers from 24 countries. They visited the city that hosted the players. 14th relay set off from Castle Square and run though Krakow Suburb, New World, Ujazdowskie Avenue to the monument of Chopin then it continued Agricola Street to Mysliwiecka Street.


During Wednesday's press conference of Olympic organizers and representatives of the Polish Football Association signed a cooperation agreement. Football Association will provide sports equipment and referees for the Olympic Football Tournament.

Organizers struggled until the last minute as they lacked in the cities wishing to host representatives of the various teams, so for example teams from Belarus and Lithuania came in the last minute. In Mazovia reported only four cities: Kozienice, Legionowo, Makow Mazowiecki and Councils.


Foundation ELIOS 2010, event organizers also had to cope with financial problems, because in the last minute almost half a milion grant has been withdrawn from Marshal Adam Struzik. ELIOS Foundation 2010 keep looking for sponsors. The budget of the event is about 20 million pln. City of Warsaw contribiuted to the event around 5 million pln. City authorities thourgh hosting the Special Olympics of Warsaw wants to rise social awareness about disabled people, particularlly among young people. They treat this event as a rehearsal before Euro 2012. Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz -Waltz has set up a group of officials who cooperate with the organizers.


Organizers also had a problem with the volunteers. Estimated that they need about two thousand volunteers: the distribution of meals, office workers, assistance for disabled athletes, assisting in the Olympic Village, hotels, in which athlets stop. Many people outside Warsaw, even foreigners were willing to help  but there was was not many from Warsaw. volunteers from outside the Warsaw would have to be provided with accommodation in Warsaw , which was difficult due to streched budget. Fortunately, at the beginning of September more than 500 people from the capital applied to the Volunteer Centre to help with the event.


The opening ceremony had been held at the Legion Stadium. In addition to the show, prepared by director Giorgos STYLIANOU and Adam Sztaba who is responsible for the musical setting, the programme included performances by Simply Red and Myslovitz. Everything started with the procession of athletes national flags. Maja Wloszczowska, vice mountain biking in Beijing  and Irena Szewinska  the icon of Polish athletics were leading this national flags procession.


Sunday games began with following events: basketball, athletics, Roller skating, soccer. Every morning for six days of the Warsaw Agricultural University campus in Ursynów ( the main base of the organizers and the players' quarters ) about six thousand. 43 people will depart by coach for various sports facilities Bemowo, AWF, Torwar. Will be traffic congestion , will assist in the escort of police.


Article published in wiadomosci.ngo.pl