By Abdellatif Sharaa
KUWAIT: In a grand ceremony at the historic temple Zappeion Megaron in Athens, and in the presence of Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Greece witnessed the kindling of the flame of the 15th Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, to be held in the German capital from June 17th until June 25th. 7000 athletes from 170 countries will be participating.
They will compete in 26 Olympic games. Kuwait is participating with a delegation of 57 individuals, including 30 athletes of both genders in addition to five non-disabled athletes who will participate in the inclusion games. Following the kindling, the torch of the “flame of hope” was handed to special Olympics athletes Vassiliki Katsoudi and Natascha Wermelskirchen, who, along with Berlin police officer Maja Seidel, began the first flame that went through Athens streets to the German School.
The first German runner with the flame of hope, who is also a football player in the Special Olympics will participate in the Berlin 2023. Natascha Wermelskirchen, said, “What a day. To be one of the first torch runners in Athens makes me very proud. I am looking forward to bringing the flame to Berlin for the Games”. The flame of hope will arrive in Berlin, where the tour of German cities will start through Brandenburg Berlin from June 14th to June 17th and stop in many host towns until it arrives in Berlin on June 17th.
In addition, the so-called “Inclusion Day powered by Special Olympics” will take place on June 13th as an additional program to the traditional final leg. Host towns all over Germany have the opportunity to draw attention to the Special Olympics movement with their own torch runs.