2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games opens,Opening Ceremony marks official start of 2017 SPECIAL OLYMPICS WORLD GAMES 2017,Opening ceremony kicks off 2017 Special Olympics Winter Games,The 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games were officially opened this evening during a Ceremony at the Planai-Stadion in Schladming in Austria.


Special Olympics Jamaica (SOJ) athletes Dave Oddman and Romaine Austin are slated to compete in speed skating on ice — a move that has attracted the attention of Special Olympics International and the global media community.Their only contact on ice using in-line skating blades was a one-week visit to practise on a rink in Florida in January. Otherwise, they trained using roller wheels — typically worn for roller skating — on concrete surfaces in Jamaica.

“We are deeply saddened that the delegations from Special Olympics Afghanistan and Special Olympics Ghana were not able to obtain visas to travel to participate and compete in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria,” a statement released today by Special Olympics International (SOI) reads.“the spotlight does not dim, but continues to shine for those with intellectual disabilities, with you serving as a role model in your home countries,” said Austrian President Van der Bellen.

“Special Olympics is a movement of welcome, opportunity and inclusion, and for these athletes to miss this chance to represent their country on a global stage of acceptance is frustrating and profoundly disappointing.The nine athletes and five unified partners who will not be with us will be in our hearts as the nearly 2,600 athletes and unified partners from 105 nations unite the world through sport this week.”