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Queenslanders ready for the Winter Games



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MEDIA RELEASE

SENATOR THE HON JAN MCLUCAS Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Senator for Queensland

Queenslanders ready for the Winter Games

Three Queensland athletes are preparing for their departure to South Korea later this week, ready to compete in the the tenth Special Olympics World Winter Games.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers and Senator for Queensland, Jan McLucas today met the Queensland contingent of the Australian team in Brisbane.

Nicole Bartley of Bunya in Brisbane’s north, and the Gold Coast’s Luke Forster and Bryce Fuller will leave for the South Korean city of PyeongChang in three days time to compete in alpine skiing events.

“It is an incredible achievement to represent your country and I know the rest of Queensland will join me in wishing Nicole, Luke and Bryce the very best at these Games.

“They have all proven that disability is no barrier to achieving.”

Senator McLucas will join the Australian team in South Korea, which includes five athletes and three team officials

“I’m so excited to be supporting our athletes and look forward to cheering them on at this special international sporting event,” Senator McLucas said.

“I’m particularly thrilled that this year our athletes will compete for the first time in snow sports at the World Winter Games.

“I wish them the very best of luck for this amazing event that they’ve trained so hard for.”

Senator McLucas said the Games are an opportunity for our athletes to compete on the world stage and are a celebration of ability.

“The Special Olympics are an opportunity for people with intellectual disability to overcome prejudice and stereotypes and showcase their remarkable athletic abilities.

From 26 January to 6 February, the Australian team will join around 2,300 athletes from 127 countries.

Athletes from around the world will compete in eight sports - alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, short-track speed skating, figure skating, floor hockey and floor ball.

“I encourage all Australians to get behind our Aussie competitors who serve as an inspiration to us all,” Senator McLucas said.

During the Games, Senator McLucas will also be attending the Special Olympics Global Development Summit on Ending the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

The summit takes place on 30 January and brings together world leaders, including renowned human rights activist and Myanmar politician, Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as international researchers, students and policy makers in the fields of intellectual disability, education and health.

Senator McLucas will also participate in a number of bilateral meetings to discuss Australia’s National Disability Strategy and National Disability Insurance Scheme, sport as a platform to promote aid and disability issues, and Australia’s aid program.

To follow the progress of our athletes or send them a herogram visit: www.specialolympics.com.au.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Media contact: Belinda Featherstone 0408 743 457