The Special Olympics, which this year will take place at Andorra la Vella and La Seu d’Urgell, will bring together more than 1,600 athletes and 600 volunteers from around Catalonia and Andorra, and also from other parts of Spain, Belgium, Monaco, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria and India.
Participants will take part in 14 sports disciplines in the two municipalities. Andorra la Vella will host the swimming, gymnastics, athletics, table tennis, indoor football, handball, badminton and Judo competitions, while La Seu d’Urgell will host the basketball, indoor hockey, petanque, cycling and tennis competitions, as well as the “Young Athletes” programme for children aged 2 to 7.
The Special Olympics are not only a unique sports event, but also a social one. It is a meeting point for social activities, socializing and leisure to give greater visibility to persons with intellectual disabilities to contribute to a greater inclusion of these persons in society and give them and their families a better quality of life.
The event will also have a Village installed at each of the two municipalities, the Olympic torch will travel all around Catalonia and Andorra la Vella, and will include the health programme “Young Athletes” and the opening and closing ceremonies to bring this event closer to citizens and make them participate.
There will be more than 600 volunteers from the organization helping with many different tasks, including giving information, admin work, photography, first-aid, access control, supporting leisure and health programmes, and accompanying the torch on its journey, and many more.
The Special Olympics have taken place in Catalonia since 1988, when the first edition was held in Lleida. This year will be the 11th edition of this event, which aims at becoming more international, and will be the first to take place in the Pyrenees.