Photo taken on March 18, 2017 shows the performance during the opening ceremony of the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Schladming, Austria. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)
SCHLADMING, Austria, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen declared the opening of the Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 here on Saturday.
Against the rain, the opening ceremony became a spectacular show at the small town Schladming of the Styria state, as the stadium was turned into a visual dream land for the audience in the celebration of life and happiness.
As the biggest international sports meet for people with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics establishes a new world of inclusion and community, where each individual is accepted and included, irrespective of their abilities or disabilities, offering all year round training and competition opportunities in 32 different Olympic disciplines for more than 4,2 million of athletes in 170 countries and regions.
On October 12, 2012, Graz and Schladming of Austria were announced as the hosts of the Special Olympics World Winter Games.