"Where to start if not with sport" is what one interviewee says about inclusion in sport. She was part of a Luxembourg delegation that attended the world's biggest inclusive event, the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin in June. About great moments and lack of media presence.
In the midst of the many seemingly endless and similar corridors in the House of Sports (the "Maison des Sports" on the Route d'Arlon is home to several clubs and associations), we meet the Sports Director of Special Olympics Luxembourg Anne Wiance quite by chance. "Ah, here you are", we are greeted, "the others are already waiting". She takes us to the room designated for the interview, where five beaming faces with partly nervous looks await us.
Everything worked out
The mood is quickly relaxed and everyone's nervousness disappears. Although the athletes who have come for the interview have already celebrated some successes, they are not used to talking to the press. For track and field athlete Ryan Vittorelli, 2023 was the first time he had participated in the Special Olympics World Games, which alternate between the summer and winter games every four years. The 21-year-old had beaten all his competitors in his category of 200 metres to win the first gold medal for Luxembourg. "I was overjoyed, " he says, grinning from ear to ear. It is impossible to miss how proud he is of this little round piece of gold, which his sister Marie, who accompanied her brother on the interview, digs out of her bag and spreads out on the table in front of us – along with several other medals. For Ryan, this was the most beautiful moment of the entire competition. Probably not only for him. "I had tears in my eyes, " admits his coach Mike Schmit. "Everything just worked out, from start to finish."
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