2013 Special Winter Olympics
By Eddie Alinea
Mon, 28 Jan 2013
MANILA (PNA) -- Intellectually-impaired Filipino athlete Jose Maria Silos takes the spotlight at the opening of the 2013 Special Olympic World Winter Games in Pyeong Chang, Republic of Korea on January 29.
Silos is representing the Philippines as the sole Special Olympics Sargent Shriver International Global Messenger ( IGM) in the Special Winter Olympics and will speak in the Global Family Leader Forum which coincides with the inaugural rites of the Special Olympics before some 3,300 delegates from 120 countries, including more than 600 VIPs and Heads of States.
“I am really very proud that I am, again, chosen to carry the country’s name in the Special Olympics in Korea and like before, I promised to do the country proud again in task assigned me,” Silos said during Friday’s SCOOP Sa Kamayan session, sponsored by Powerade, AKTV and FILA, held at the Kamayan Restaurant-Padre Faura.
Anton, who is under the guidance of Special Olympics Philippines APs Program Chairperson Cristina Canizares-Gacuma left yesterday for Korea accompanied to the 2013 Winter Games by lawyer Isagani Zulueta, Special Athletes Bowling Association (SPABA) chairman and bowling coach.
It is actually on Wednesday when Silos’ audience -- world leaders from government, business, education, economic and social development, media and civil society will also convene in the host city to discuss the Special Olympics Global Development Summit on Ending the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
They are Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, chairperson, National League for Democracy, Burma (Myanmar); Kim Hwang-sik, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea; Malawi President Joyce Banda; Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller;
Senator and Vice Minister Jan McLucas of Australia; Bekele Geleta, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; and Wilfried Lemke, Special Envoy, the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace.
This Summit, the first of its kind in focusing solely on people with intellectual disabilities, will examine the urgent needs of the largest disability population throughout the world and made part of the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event- Special Olympics World Winter Games.
The Pyeong Chang Games is the largest Special Olympics World Winter Games ever featuring 7 categories of sports and 55 events including alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, speed skating, figure skating, floor hockey, and demo sport, floorball.
No Filipino athletes though are represented in any of the events that will showcase the inspiring athletic abilities of people with intellectual disabilities as well as celebrate unity in diversity of regions, borders, political belief, age, race and religion.
Anton, a bemedaled special athlete in bowling, was named an IGM as early as in 2010 and has able to attend many international events, conferences , and met many prominent world leaders and famous celebrities like Dr. Tom Shriver and Stevie Wonder in promoting the local Special Olympics movement and the mission and vision of the organization.
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