2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games

2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games

The 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games were hosted in Ireland, with participants staying in various host towns around the island in the lead up to the games before moving to Dublin for the events. Events were held from 21 June-29 June, 2003 at many venues including Morton Stadium, the Royal Dublin Society in Ballsbridge and the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, Dublin. Croke Park Gaelic games stadium, in Dublin served as the central stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies, even though no competitions took place there. Belfast was the venue for roller skating events (at the Kings Hall), as well as the Special Olympics Scientific Symposium (held from 19-20 June).

Host town programme

177 towns, cities and villages and the Aran Islands hosted national delegations in the run up to the games. Each town ran programmes to educate the local community about the customs of the country they would host and provided facilities for the teams to acclimatise. Newbridge, County Kildare, host to the Japan delegation [http://www.2003worldgames.com/en/default.asp?page=hos_bac_01 won the award for best host town] .

Volunteer programme

30,000 volunteer officials and support staff assisted in the running of the games, including 900 staff of the Bank of Ireland who coordinated the host town programme and 800 members of the Irish Defence Forces who maintained the radio communication network, and provided support for bridge building, security duties, VIP drivers, standard bearers for ceremonial events and emergency medical teams. 165 volunteers from the then 15 countries of the EU took part in a European Volunteer Project (EVS), the first ever to be organized in event-related mode. The volunteers are commemorated by having their names on a series of plaques situated in Dublin Castle, just outside the Chester Beatty Library.

The Games

The 2003 World Games were the first to be held outside of the United States. Approximately 7000 athletes from 150 countries competed in the games in 18 official disciplines, and three exhibition sports. The participants from Kosovo were the region's first team at an international sporting event. A 12-member team from Iraq received special permission to attend the games, despite ongoing war in their home nation.

The opening ceremony was held in Croke Park featured an array of stars and was hosted by Patrick Kielty. The band U2 were a major feature, and Nelson Mandela officially opened the games. Other performances included The Corrs and the largest Riverdance troupe ever assembled on one stage. 75,000 athletes and spectators were in attendance at the opening ceremonies. Irish and international celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jon Bon Jovi walked with the athletes, with Muhammad Ali as a special guest and Manchester United and Republic of Ireland football player Roy Keane taking the athletes oath with one of the Special Olympians.

The Games Flame was lit at the culmination of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which more than 2,000 members of An Garda Síochána (Irish Police) and the Police Service of Northern Ireland took part in. This was a series of relays carrying the Special Olympics Torch, the "Flame of Hope", from Europe to the Games' official opening.

The ceremony was officially opened by President of Ireland Mary McAleese and attended by Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland) Bertie Ahern.

The 2003 games were the first to have their opening and closing schemes broadcast on live television, and Radio Telefís Éireann provided extensive coverage of the events through their 'Voice of the Games' radio station which replaced RTÉ Radio 1 on Medium Wave for the duration of the event. There was also a nightly television highlight programme.

Among the activities carried out during the Games were thorough medical checks on the athletes, some of whom had previously undiagnosed conditions uncovered, as some of the athletes came from countries with limited medical facilities or had difficulty communicating their symptoms.

A daily newspaper, the Games Gazette was published for each day of the games.

Among the contributors to the Games was the Irish Prison Service. Prisoners in Mountjoy Prison, Midlands Prison, Wheatfield Prison and Arbour Hill Prison who constructed podiums and made flags, towels, signs, benches and other equipment.

Organising Committee

The organising committee, which was formed in 1999 following the success of the bid, was chaired by entrepreneur Denis O'Brien. The chief executive was Mary Davis.

Events

Athletes and coaches such as Lleyton Hewitt and his coach Roger Rasheed (Tennis); Severiano Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle and Andrew Marshall (Golf), Mick O'Dwyer (Gaelic football) and Brian Kerr (Soccer) met and encouraged athletes at events during the games.

* Aquatics (swimming)
* Athletics (track and field)
* Badminton
* Basketball team
* Bocce
* Bowling
* Cycling
* Equestrian
* Football (soccer) team
* Golf
* Gymnastics (artistic)
* Gymnastics (rhythmic)
* Judo
* Kayaking
* MATP
* Pitch & putt
* Powerlifting
* Roller skating
* Sailing
* Table tennis
* Team handball
* Tennis
* Volleyball team

External links

* [http://www.2003worldgames.com/en/default1.asp 2003 World Games official website]
* [http://www.2003worldgames.com/en/default.asp?page=hos_lis_01 Host Town list]
* [http://www.ireland.com/sports/specialolympics/results/index.htm Special Olympics 2003 Results]
* [http://www.irishprisons.ie/newsItem.asp?newsID=18 Irish Prison Service release on their inmates work for the Special Olympics]
* [http://www.specialolympics.ie/en/ Special Olympics Ireland website]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Special Olympics World Games — The Special Olympics World Games are an international sporting competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities, organized by Special Olympics.Like the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, the Special Olympics World Games include summer …   Wikipedia

  • Estonia at the Special Olympics World Games — Estonia have competed at the Special Olympics World Games since after regaining independence in 1991.Medal talliespecial Olympics World Summer Games Best performances in bold. Gold medalists* 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games ** Kalle… …   Wikipedia

  • Mexico at the Special Olympics World Games — Flag of Mexico México has competed at the Special Olympics World Games 11 times. Contents 1 Medal tallies …   Wikipedia

  • Special Olympics — is an international organization created to help people with intellectual disabilities develop self confidence, social skills and a sense of personal accomplishment. Among their other activities, Special Olympics conducts the Special Olympics… …   Wikipedia

  • 2003 in Ireland — Events*January 21 The Spire of Dublin on O Connell Street is officially completed. *February 16 100,000 people in Dublin, and 30,000 in Belfast march to express their opposition to the imminent invasion of Iraq. *April 7 President Bush of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Olympics on NBC — NBC Sports coverage of the Olympic Games consists of broadcasts on the various networks of NBC Universal in the United States, including the NBC broadcast network, Spanish language network Telemundo, and many of the company s cable networks. The… …   Wikipedia

  • World Outgames — The World Outgames are a sporting and cultural event hosted by the gay community. With over 12,000 participants, the 1st World Outgames, held in 2006, was the largest international event to be held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada since the 1976… …   Wikipedia

  • 2003 FIVB Women's World Cup — The 2003 FIVB Women s World Cup was held from November 1 to November 15, 2003 in Japan. Twelve women s national teams played in cities all over Japan for the right to a fast lane ticket into the Olympic Tournament in Athens, Greece 2004.Teams… …   Wikipedia

  • 1988 Summer Olympics — Games of the XXIV Olympiad Host city Seoul, South Korea Motto Harmony and Progress Nations participating …   Wikipedia

  • 1936 Summer Olympics — Games of the XI Olympiad Host city Berlin, Germany Nations participating 49 Athletes participating 3,963 ( …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”