THE TEAM OF Special Olympics Slovakia (ŠOHS) garnered numerous awards at the Special Winter Olympics World Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. On February 6, the 21-member team returned home with a total of 17 medals, 10 of which were gold. The Special Olympics allows mentally challenged athletes to compete in Olympic sporting events.
The 2013 Winter Games, from 29 January to 5 February, featured alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, snowboarding, speed skating and other sports. A global development summit focusing on issues for people with intellectual disabilities was also held at the Games, as well as a global youth summit.
Slovak athletes scored several important victories. In Alpine Super G, David Boček and Marianna Vojtková won gold, Darina Krihová and Juraj Šuster silver. In Giant Slalom, Marianna Vojtková won gold in the “advanced” category and Darina Krihová in the “intermediate” category. In the Alpine Advanced Slalom, Marianna Vojtková won gold and in Alpine Intermediate Slalom, Darina Krihová won gold and Juraj Šuster silver. In Cross-country Freestyle 5,000m, Jakub Krissak won gold and Roman Pollák bronze. In Cross-country 100m classical, Gabriela Petrovičová won gold; while in 500m freestyle, Vladimíra Vančová won gold and Milan Pumpa silver and gold in the 1,000m freestyle, where Roman Pollák won bronze. In the Cross-country race classical 2,500m, Jakub Krissak won gold.
“Our mentally handicapped athletes not only managed to overcome their disadvantages, but were also able to compete successfully and many of them won medals. And as for those who were slightly less successful, I can quote one of our participants: It is still fabulous to be the fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh best in world,” Eva Lysičanová, president of the Special Olympics Slovakia informed in a press release.
18. Feb 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská