Special Olympics kicks off with Torch Run through Mechelen

Belgium’s Special Olympics national games officially kicked off on Wednesday afternoon with the Torch Run, when the Olympic flame was carried through the streets of host city Mechelen.

About 100 athletes and cadets from the police school will make sure it arrives safely at the KV Mechelen stadium on Wednesday evening for the opening celebrations.

The games will be held over the next four days at nine venues in the city and two outside. Around 3,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities will compete in 22 disciplines, under the motto “taking part is more important than winning”. The event is supported by 1,800 volunteers.

The official kick-off began at the Grote Markt, where a procession carrying the Olympic flame set off towards the KV Mechelen stadium and De Nekker park, which will be the centre of the competition’s activity.

Mechelen city council has provided 150,000 euros for the event, as well as logistical and infrastructural support. “We really want to make inclusive sport sustainable in our sports policy,” said councillor Abdrahman Labsir (Open VLD). “We want to enthuse as many Mechelen people as possible.”

"We really want to make inclusive sport sustainable in our sports policy"



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