Special Olympics brings 2,300 athletes to S Korea
Published : Tuesday, 29 January 2013
SEOUL, Jan 28 (AFP): Around 2,300 mentally disabled athletes have gathered in the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang for the opening Tuesday of the 2013 Special Winter Olympics.
The eight-day event will see athletes from 110 countries competing in disciplines including alpine and cross-country skiing and figure and short-track speed skating, as well as hockey and snowboarding.
Among the participating countries, seven Asian nations including Mongolia, Thailand and Vietnam will take part in the event for the first time.
The host nation has the largest delegation, with 169 athletes and 67 officials.
The chairwoman of the organising committee, Na Kyung-Won-a two-term lawmaker who has a daughter with Down's Syndrome-said she hoped the event would mark a sea change in the way Korean society views the mentally disabled.