Victoria Premier Ted Baillieu
Victoria Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty
Victorian Special Olympics Athletes Set For Athens
Victor P Taffa
Premier Ted Baillieu and Sport and Recreation Minister Hugh Delahunty today farewelled the 27 Victorian athletes heading to the Special Olympics World Games in Athens later this month.
Speaking at Government House, Premier Baillieu said representing Australia was a wonderful achievement in any Victorian athlete’s career.
“All Victorians are proud to count you amongst our sporting greats and their cheers will support you as you represent our state and nation in Athens.” Premier Baillieu told the athletes.
“Our Victorian team shows what is possible when all Victorians are given the same opportunities to go for their dreams.”
“We are a state that prides itself on aspiration and ambition and you will be part of those great Victorian traditions when you wear the green and gold in Athens as part of the 131-strong Australian team.”
“You have trained hard and made many sacrifices along with your families to compete on the world stage and represent your country, and we will be right behind your efforts in Athens.” Premier Baillieu said.
Mr. Delahunty paid tribute to the families and friends of the athletes who had supported them in their journey.
“A strong network of friends and family is vital to the success of any sportsman or woman, and today I want to acknowledge all of the people behind the scenes who have helped to support these 27 wonderful athletes to achieve their dreams of competing on the world stage.” Mr. Delahunty said.
“Congratulations also to Special Olympics Victoria who provide so many opportunities for people with a disability to compete in sport.” Mr. Delahunty said.
The Special Olympics World Summer Games are held every four years. The 2011 Summer Games will be held in Athens from 25 June to 4 July. Around 7,500 athletes from 185 countries will compete in 11 sports, including athletics, aquatics, sailing, football, basketball, bowling, golf, gymnastics, bocce, softball and tennis.