Special Olympics Pre-Games 2016’s Successful Completion!

The “dress rehearsal” for the Special Olympics World Winter Games was impressive and indicative of great things to come. Now it is time to focus all concentration on the preparation for the World

Winter Games in March of next year. more

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Buy Lara & Luis in our online shop!

Here you can find all products from our merchandising shop!


All infos for media representatives

Yor are an accredited journalist, reporter or photographer and want to report on the Pre-Games? Here you can find all important infos!


Important infos for all visitors

You want to visit the Pre-Games and cheer our athletes? We are looking forward to welcome you in Austria/Styria! Here you will find the most important infos.


Be there at the awards ceremonies!

Besonders emotional und oftmals unvergesslich sind die Siegerehrungen im Rahmen von Special-Olympics-Veranstaltungen.


The Oath will be delivered by ski star Anna Fenninger

The final countdown: on January 10th the pre Games 2016 will be opened in the World Cup Stadium Planai.


Already 1000 volunteers registered for the games 2017

It is with great pride, we also announce that this week the 1000th volunteer for Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017has registered games! A third of what is needed (approximately 3,000

volunteers are needed for the great world games). "Such an event would not be possible without the many volunteers. These people who invest their time to this great cause are so important for us”, the two volunteers coordinators Birgit Winter and Alexandra Schmidt say. On, you can simply log on and search for postitions in some 25 different fields. Volunteers will receive exclusive clothing (from the company of Northland), to food during their scheduled times, insurance coverage, a commemorative certificate or training certificate, but above all the unique opportunity to play an essential role in such a large and important event. "They are an important part of a large and dedicated team! The emotions and the gratitude from the athletes that the volunteers experience every day at the games, is what makes it so memorable for them", said the coordinators.   more

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Marcel Hirscher supports the Games 2017 as an official Ambassador!

Since 1993, the United Nations declared December 3rd as the "International day of Persons with Disabilities". This is to keep public awareness alive regarding the problems people with disabilities

face and promote the dignity, rights and well-being of these people. With this important date in mind, we want to present our next Ambassador for the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 - with today's press release - it is, currently the most successful skier, Marcel Hirscher. After Austria's “Sportsman of the year 2015" at Audi’s January presentation in Schladming where he had to cancel his participation, he went on to receive the "Ambassador" heart as a symbol recently within the framework of the gala night of the sports end of October in Vienna. Hirscher, of fire and flame, for the major sporting event and especially to assist the world Winter Games, says: "Sport is good for all of us and is important to us. But the joy of movement and the experience through victory and defeat is not just reserved for those that are lucky enough to be without disability. For this reason I committed to promoting the opportunity for those with disabilities to practice sport. I am proud to promote and support the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017." Visit our YouTube-Channel to see a video message from Marcel Hirscher.   more

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Apply for your Credential for the Pre-Games!

As journalist, reporter or photographer you can now apply for Pre-Games 2016 Credentials! Go to this link, you must first register and then fill in the

accreditation form in a further step. Important: During registration process please confirm where you will pick up your Credentials in January either a) in Graz (on 10-11 January at the Nova Park Hotel, bet. 9am-1pm) or b) In Schladming (from 10 January in the congress, from 9 am to 4 pm). more

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Only 50 days left to the Pre-Games in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau!

The next significant date arrives on 21st November 2015, it will be exactly 50 days until the Pre- Games in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau. The “dress rehearsal”, for the Special Olympics World

Winter Games 2017, opens on 10th January 2016 where 1,100 athletes from 23 Nations compete for champion status over eight sport categories. For the athletes the Pre-Games are an important step on the way to the Special Olympics World Winter Games in March 2017 because, after all, they must meet certain criteria, such as the participation in national and international events to qualify for these Special Olympics World Winter Games! It is also significant for the organizers of "Austria2017", the Pre-Games is an important milestone in the preparation for the big event 18 months away. "For us, it is an important rehearsal, when we test the interaction of vital groups such as clubs, volunteers, sponsors and employees", explains the two Austria2017 Managing Directors, Marc Angelini and Markus Pichler. The Pre-Games will deliver decisive information, identifing areas in need of improvements and verifying areas that are progressing as planned. "Basically we are still 18 months out, but of course preparations, despite being so far under way, will still be ongoing up until a few days before the commencement of the Pre-Games", says Pichler. The Organizing Committee has worked diligently and completed their "contemplative advent" and now over the next 50 days they will be in high-gear. "We are very optimistic concerning the organization of the Pre-Games. Our entire team is extremely motivated and demonstrates great energy", the Managing Director proudly states.   Sports Competitions: The Pre-Games will be held in the following locations for 2017: Schladming (Alpine skiing and snowboard) and Ramsau (Nordic skiing and snowshoeing). In Graz, the Helmut List Halle (curling) as well as events held in the Eishalle Liebenau (figure skating and speed skating), and the blue box of the HIB Liebenau (Floorball). It is also at the Pre-Games that ‘motor activity training program "(MATP) will be offered in Schladming (congress). These are competitions specifically for people with higher needs.   Host-Town & Healthy Athletes Programs The Host Town Program is an old tradition of the Special Olympics, whereby international athletes get to spend in three days a selected location (town) in the host country to learn about the country, it’s traditions and it’s people. The Host Town Program is active for the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 and the delegations on all over Austria to be divided before the Pre-Games (8 - 10 January), on a smaller scale. The international teamsin Maria Lankowitz, Stainz, St. Stefan will be determined as to whether Stainz and Lannach are assigned as their quarters. Also a special Healthy Athletes Program is offered on 9th January. An extensive study of healthy foreign athletes are available. Many of these athletes do not have access to this level of study in their home countries, so it is a great opportunity for them. The participation is free of charge and on a voluntary basis and will take place in the premises of the Graz Joanneum University of Applied Sciences. Of course, the Pre-Games comes with it’s own Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The opening ceremony will be held on January 10 in Schladming and is free of charge to the public. In the nearly two-hour event, in addition to a ski show, also the Olympic Torch will be lit and the flag hoisted, both significant symbols of The Games. Musical highlights to be enjoyed are: Opus and Tagträumer and dancing group Ich bin O.K. as well RoseMay, sister of football star David Alaba. Then on January 14, there will be two small closing parties at "Congress Schladming" (with Hackbrett) and in the Graz Helmut List Hall follow (with the cult band Egon7 and a spectacular dance show).   Torch Run: 8 January 2016, Graz The torch run also has a big role at the Special Olympics World Games. The Olympic flame, which is lit in Athens is worn as a sign of the games through several countries before it enters the host cities. In 2017, this "torch run" will take place across Europe. In the run-up to the Pre-Games there will be also a small torch run that is carried out in the morning of 8th January in the Graz City Centre.     Pre-Games 2016 Dates & Facts: Dates: 10 - 15 January 2022 Host Cities: Graz, Schladming-Rohrmoos and Ramsau 10th January: Opening Ceremony in Schladming (WM-Stadion Planai) with Opus, Alaba-sister Rose May and Tagträumer (at 6:00pm - Free Admission) 11 - 14 January: Sporting competitions 14 January: Closing Ceremony in Schladming (at 7:00pm) and Graz (Helmut List Halle, at 7:00pm) with Egon 7 (Free Admission)   Sporting Competitions:Figure skating and speed skating (Eishalle Liebenau, Graz)Stock sports (Graz, Helmut list Hall)Floorball (Graz, bluebox HIB Liebenau); There's info about the sport: www.floorball.atAlpine skiing and snowboarding (Schladming-Rohrmoos, RWY 32)Nordic skiing and snowshoeing (Ramsau, Stadium)More details on each sports competitions can be found on!   Supporting Associations: WSV Ramsau (Nordic skiing and snowshoeing)WSV Schladming (Alpine skiing and snowboard)The Austrian Floorballverband (Floorball)Graz Ice Skating Association (figure skating)Short Track speed skating Grazer Dragons (speed skating)ESV old toll Seiersberg (stock sports).   Free Admission: On all days (including Opening and Closing Ceremonies) Volunteers: 650 (approx.) Accommodation: Almost 7,500 overnight stays in total. (Graz: 2,500; Schladming:1,750 and Ramsau (3,250)   Participants: National Delegations (Austria): 880 athletes approx. (including 21 unified partners and 400 trainers) International delegations: 150 athletes and 70 coaches approx. from 22 countries (Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, Finland, United Kingdom, Holland, Iceland, Japan, Jordan, Qatar, Croatia, Luxembourg, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary, United States, U.A.E.)   more

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