The status of preparations and programme of the 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Kazan, Tatarstan, was talked about today at a briefing at the House of the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan by Sports Minister Vladimir Leonov.
Kazan obtained the right to stage such a significant event for the first time in Russia. Competitions for people with intellectual disabilities are very important, and they require serious and thorough preparation.
The project is supported by the Russian government. The management system for preparations for the Games has been formed: the system includes the Federal Organising Committee, the Republican Organising Committee and working groups in the areas of preparation. Republican agencies are already actively involved in preparations and cooperate with the Ministry of Sports of Russia and Special Olympics of Russia on organisational issues for the Games. Traditionally in the republic, the Games preparation process is conducted directly by the Directorate for Sports and Social Projects.
Vladimir Leonov emphasised that the main goal of the project is adaptation of people with intellectual disabilities. In other words, to help people with intellectual disabilities become full-fledged members of society, actively participate in social life, provide them with equal opportunities to demonstrate their skills and talents in sports competitions, and inform the public about their abilities and needs.
“The Games provide a unique platform where the most comfortable conditions are created for society to meet an inclusive community. We create safe conditions (both physically and emotionally) for social integration of the inclusive community,” underlined the Minister of Sports of the Republic of Tatarstan.
2,000 athletes and unified partners (athletes without intellectual disabilities) from 108 countries will compete at the Special Olympics World Winter Games. The programme of the Games includes competitions in 7 sports: cross country skiing, snowboarding, floorball, skiing, figure skating, short track and snowshoeing.
Venues for the competitions will be Sviyaga Hills Ski Resort (alpine skiing and snowboarding), Burevestnik Stadium (snowshoeing), Kazan Tennis Academy (floorball), Sports Palace (figure skating and short track), and Biathlon and Ski Complex (cross country skiing).
The opening and closing ceremonies of the Games will be held on 22 and 28 January, 2022, respectively, at Tatneft Arena. Apart from the sport events, the participants will be offered an extensive programme of cultural and additional (non-sporting) activities.
The Minister noted that a presentation of the Ambassadors of the 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Kazan took place on 5 December: “We’re glad that the project is supported by such famous people as Tatiana Navka, Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Legkov, Alexey Nechaev and Ksenia Solovieva,” commented the Minister.
It is planned to involve about 3,000 volunteers for the Games, who will be involved in more than 30 positions. The volunteer application process will begin on 5 December. Applications shall be accepted until May 2021 on the SOKAZAN2022.com website.
As part of the preparations for the Games, a test event is planned, which will be the Special Olympics Russia Winter Invitational Games. These Games will also be a qualifying competition for the Russian national team for the Games in 2022. There will be competitions in all disciplines of the Games except floorball.
A special section with all the necessary information on the main Games and Invitational Games, including sports, venues, accreditation of client groups, and services for media representatives was launched on the website of the Games, sokazan2022.
Kazan will be hosting the Special Olympics World Winter Games from 22 to 28 January, 2022. The Winter Games Programme covers 7 sports: alpine skiing, snowboarding, floorball, cross country skiing, figure skating, short track speed skating, and snowshoeing. The hosts are expected to welcome 2000 athletes and unified partners (athletes without intellectual disabilities) from 108 countries.
Special Olympics Russia was founded in 1999 and is one of the largest national programmes within the worldwide movement. It brings together approximately 130,000 athletes that take part in various competitions around the country. Within the programme of the Special Olympics, about 5,000 sporting events are held annually at the municipal, regional, and national levels. Currently, there are regional offices in 62 regions of Russia. One of the key goals of the Winter Games will be to increase the number of athletes with intellectual disabilities involved in the event. The target number is 200,000 people by 2025.
Founded in the USA in 1968, Special Olympics is an international movement aimed at terminating discrimination of people with intellectual disabilities. It promotes inclusion of all people by developing sports and creating programmes in the areas of education, health, and leadership. Every year the Special Olympic movement organises over 100,000 games and competitions in more than 30 Olympic disciplines and unites more than 6 million athletes and unified partners and more than half a million coaches and volunteers in over 190 countries and territories.
Press Office of Directorate for Sports and Social Projects