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Special Olympics USA ready to compete in Austria

Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner with Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics and son of Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Today, 200 U.S. athletes will travel to Austria for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games. The Games will run from March 14- 25 in Graz, Schladming, and Ramsau in the Austrian state of Styria.

Yesterday evening, the 140 athletes, 60 coaches and support staff of Team USA were honored at at gala send-off in Washington DC. Ambassador Wolfgang Waldner had the pleasure to officially farewell the American athletes and share some insights about Austria hosting these World Games for the second time. Andreas Pawlitschek, Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum Washington, added finishing touches by teaching the team some survival German for overseas.

Altogether 2,700 athletes from 107 nations are participating in the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. They will compete in 9 disciplines, from Alpine Skiing, Floorball, Floor Hockey, Figure Skating, Stick Shooting, Speed Skating, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing to Nordic Skiing.

Special Olympics, founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, is the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities.

Click here for more photos from the send-off celebration #Cheer4USA