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Special Olympics 2014 Barcelona/Calella were a great success

The Special Olympics were held in Barcelona and Calella from October 30th to November 2nd. 1,600 athletes with intellectual disabilities from Spain and twenty countries around the world joined the 2014 edition of this international event.

Of the twelve different sport disciplines, three were held in Barcelona: sailing, basketball and tennis. The remaining nine in Calella: athletics, hockey, football, bocce, gymnastics, table tennis, handball, badminton and swimming.

The presentation ceremony of the Special Olympics 2014 – Calella Barcelona was participated by many local celebrities and representatives. Francisco Martinez de Foix, President of ACELL (Catalan Sports Federation of intellectual disabilities), Pedro Escobar, journalist and head of the opening of the Games, Alex Narrow, ACELL manager and director of the Special Olympics 2014-Calella Barcelona, Montserrat Candini, mayor of Calella, Jordi Durà, president of Special Olympics Catalunya, Gerard Figueras, director of the Catalan Sports Council and Maite Fandos delegate for Quality of Life, Equality and Sports in Barcelona. Celebrities, consuls and representatives of the participating countries were also present.

During the event the objectives of the game were presented as well as the large number of side events of the Games for example the Village for the athletes or the Health Program. This turned the event into a big project of public interest and responsibility.

Jordi Durà, president of Special Olympics Catalunya, explained that «through sport the look of the people towards the intellectually disabled can be changed» and highlighted the courage of the participants and their families to participate in the Games. He said, “Calella is a city that lives for sports and also has a very inclusive population that perfectly welcomed the athletes».

The closing ceremony of the Special Olympics Games was held on 2nd November with musical performances, activities, games, workshops and the Castellers del’Alt Maresme and a group of casteller with intellectual disabilities. The Special Olympics Games were made possible thanks to the athletes, their families and the volunteers who were the heart of the Games. Calella, who managed to gather 500 volunteers, according to mayor Candini, will not be the same after having made the dreams of many athletes with intellectual disabilities become true.

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