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Let the games begin in Korea



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MEDIA RELEASE

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

Let the games begin in Korea

The Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas will today leave for South Korea to participate in a series of bilateral meetings in Seoul to discuss Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme, sport as a platform to promote aid and disability issues, and Australia’s aid program.

Senator McLucas will also address the Special Olympic Global Development Summit and join the Australian athletes competing at the tenth Special Olympics World Winter Games in PyeongChang.

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

“I am proud to be supporting our athletes and look forward to cheering them on at this great international sporting event.”

“I’m particularly thrilled that our athletes will be competing in snow sports for the first time at a World Winter Games.”

The Australian team is made up of Queensland alpine skiiers Nicole Bartley, Luke Forster and Bryce Fuller, New South Wales alpine skiier Nicole Harris, and New South Wales snowboarder Craig Muhlbock.

The five Australian athletes, along with three team officials, will take part in the competition from 26 January to 6 February, joining around 2,300 athletes from 127 countries.

“I wish them our team 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.

“Winning a medal is an incredible achievement but it is also important to recognise what sport can achieve off the field, including a sense of achievement, camaraderie and inclusion.

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.

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

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

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

Sunday 27 January 2013

Media contact: Belinda Featherstone 0408 743 457