16 OCTOBER 2017 / Special Olympics International “Unified Sports” Event Held in Rome

“Unified Sports”, a three-day international event hosted by the Special Olympics International (SOI), began on Friday, October 13th, in Rome, Italy, under the auspices of His Holiness, the Pope. The event was attended by Special Olympics athletes and representatives, and supporters of SOI, including a representative from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The SNF has an ongoing collaboration with Special Olympics International.

The first day of the event consisted of various opening events, including a speech by Dr. Timothy Shriver, President of SOI, asking Pope Francis to support the movement as it embarks on an “inclusion revolution” around the world. Each Special Olympics athlete present in the audience also had the opportunity to meet with Pope Francis.

The remainder of the event consisted of the “Unified Football Tournament”, which featured five-a-side teams from France, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and Romania, who competed at the Pio XI sports center in Rome.

Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, the Special Olympics empowers people with intellectual disabilities to fight inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics has since grown to 5.6 million athletes in 172 countries. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is a proud supporter of Special Olympics Hellas, the branch of the Special Olympics in Greece. 

To read more about the opening day’s events, click here.

Special Olympics Press Release