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25 June, 2024
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Inspiring opening ceremony for Cyprus Special Olympics in Limassol

Hundreds gather at historic port to celebrate athletes' spirit and resilience

Newsroom / CNA

Sunday night's inauguration of the Cyprus Special Olympics at Limassol's historic port brought joy and enthusiasm to 600 individuals with intellectual disabilities from Cyprus, Greece, and Malta. The event, themed "Strong Together - Winners Together," witnessed enthusiastic support from hundreds of citizens as athletes geared up for the games.

Organized by the Cyprus Special Olympics Federation (KOEO), the ceremony was inaugurated by Limassol Mayor Nicos Nicolaides, alongside dignitaries including First Lady Philippa Karsera Christodoulides, Minister of Education, Sport, and Youth Athena Michailidou, Minister of Justice and Public Order Marios Hartsiotis, and Deputy Minister of Shipping Marina Hadjimanolis.

The festivities commenced with a spirited parade of athletes accompanied by the Police philharmonic band. Following rituals such as the lighting of the flame, the anthem of the Cyprus Special Olympics, and the raising of the flag, athletes and trainers took their oaths.

In a statement delivered by Education Minister Athena Michailidou, the President of Cyprus emphasized that in these games, every participant is a winner, praising their determination, patience, and sportsmanship.

First Lady Philippa Karsera Christodoulides, also the honorary President of KOEO, lauded the athletes for embodying the spirit of human resilience, fair play, and camaraderie. She highlighted the government's commitment to prioritize sports and enhance the inclusion of people with disabilities in society.

Mayor Nicolaides extended a warm welcome to the athletes, trainers, volunteers, and attendees, describing the event as a celebration of life where everyone emerges victorious. He underscored Limassol's status as a sports-centric city and expressed pride in hosting the Cyprus Special Olympics for the first time.

The occasion featured addresses from prominent figures including Maria Vassiliadou, President of the Board of Directors of KOEO, Dr. Eleni Rossidou, General Secretary of KOEO, and Christos Kasoulides, a KOEO athlete.


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