Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Austrian president announces opening of Special Olympics World Winter Games

Austrian president announces opening of Special Olympics World Winter Games

Organizer and Area Director for Special Olympics Northern California Denise Caldwell said they have organized this for 35 years, and athletes started practicing in January.

She'll begin the day at her favorite coffee shop - Blackbird Bakery in Winslow - for one last taste of home before wrangling her pack of luggage over to the ferry and eventually to SeaTac, where that grand excursion will begin in earnest.

"The nine athletes and five unified partners who will not be with us will be in our hearts as the almost 2,600 athletes and unified partners from 105 nations unite the world through sport this week".

The event coincided with the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

This mild winter has Mulligan doing exercises on her own to get ready for the World Games.

"It's a country I've never been to before", she said.

Madison Englund is at the top of her game. "I'm more excited than nervous, but I try to keep it all in perspective. The whole family says if we bottled her enthusiasm, we'd make a fortune".

Coverage from the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games will be broadcast on ABC and ESPN2.

"I just can't explain to you what a great athlete he is", she said. She serves as an ambassador for the organization, often speaking to groups one or two times a week about the merits of Special Olympics.

Duane Hall of Brewer is serving as the U.S. Special Olympics team coach for snowshoeing. "A lot of people have stepped up to help make this happen, and I'm very grateful for them".

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