The team of five athletes will become the first Australians to compete in snow sports at the Special World Olympic Games.
“I am proud to say five great Australian athletes will be there representing our country. Along with a dedicated team of volunteer officials,” the Prime Minister of Australia said about the second Australian team to compete at a World Winter Games.
“Though small in size, you are a team with a big heart. You bring courage and determination to your sport. You train and compete hard to reach this level. By achieving so hard, you inspire others with intellectual disabilities to do the same,” she said.
Ms Gillard encouraged Australians to send a message of best wishes to the Special Olympic champions as they compete on the mountains of Peongchang.
“Let’s tell them our nation is behind them 100%. We are proud of them and we wish them well,” the Prime Minister said in address to the team via Youtube on Australia Day.
Craig Muhlock (Snowboarding), Nicole Harris, Nicole Bartley, Luke Forster and Bryce Fuller (Alpine Skiing) will be supported by a group of coaches and support staff for the duration of competition in Peongchang, the home of the 2018 Winter Olynmpics.
Official proceedings commence with the opening ceremony that will be held at YoungPyong Dome tonight.
The Australian team will walk out with the Honourable Jan Mclucas, a Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers in the Labor Government. She will be amoung a host of professionals and experts attending these games, including an international Summit on Ending the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
Ambassador for Australia in Seoul, H.E. Sam Gerovich echoed the well wishes of the Prime Minister to these inspiring athletes.
“I wish all of them great syccess and a great visit to Korea. They will be seeing what Korea will be putting on for the world again in 2018,” he said.
About 3,300 athletes and officials from 127 countries will compete in the eight-day athletic contest for the mentally disabled as well as cultural and events start on January 30th.
Thomas Dullard is interning at TBS’ efm radio station in Seoul on “This Morning” show. He will be covering the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony from Peongchang on Tuesday 29 January. For any extra media coverage, please email email@example.com. Only happy to help.