Day 3 of the Games Competitions

Day 3 of the Games Competitions

Growing interest in superior performances. Read our report and enjoy some beautiful moments in our highlights video and pictures album.


Tuesday 16 September, 2014 — In a Belgian popular talk show last night, Piet den Boer, former football player and one of the Special Olympics ambassadors, stated that we are witnessing real top performances during the tournament.  Rob Vanoudenhoven, Special Olympics celebrity ambassador in Belgium supported this viewpoint. Any visitor to the Special Olympics saw only highly motivated athletes. Cycling legend Eddy Merckx and former football star Paul Van Himst will undoubtedly come to the same conclusion. Earlier today, they announced that they will be visiting the Special Olympics tomorrow.

“It is all about sports performances at the Special Olympics European Summer Games 2014”, Piet Den Boer said last night. “Many people think that this is some kind of therapy to keep athletes busy. But the Games are a global happening. For the participating athletes, this is top sport! They work extremely hard and train just like other athletes”.

Rob Vanoudenhoven, celebrity ambassador of the Special Olympics was a one of the guests at Antwerp Expo today. He came to cheer on the athletes just before he went to the Wezenberg swimming pool to support the swimmers. He fully agrees with Den Boer: “It is sport in its purest form. It gives me goosebumps to watch these athletes perform. It is a real pleasure to come and watch.”

Growing public interest

Not only celebrities come to watch the athletes at the Special Olympics. Public interest is also growing day by day. At the cycling event, the athletics competition as well as the football and basketball venue the audience turned up in large numbers.

As usual, all results and the sports calendar are available on-line at

Top gastronomy

Beside the sports fields, other activities are buzzing as well. In the Unified Cooking restaurant, top chef Wout  Bru was present today to spoil the gourmets. Together with a group of students with intellectual disabilities, he prepared a real three star lunch. “I can imagine how the parents feel”, he said. “It is not always easy for them, and now, they are experiencing an intense moment of pride. Maybe I have to be a little more patient with the students from time to time, but it is a real pleasure to work with them”.

Ann Martens, the teacher who was accompanying the students all week long, adds:” All these assistant cooks come from a hotel school for people with autism. We aim at integrating these boys and girls in the normal situations of a restaurant kitchen, so that later they can be employed in a regular work environment”.

Wednesday September 17: more celebrities coming

So far, a lot of international press and celebrities have been present to watch the athletes from the 58 delegations at the games. Tomorrow, living sports legends Eddy Merckx and Paul Van Himst will be cheering on the soccer players in Berchem (Het Rooi) and the cyclists in Lommel (Balendijk).

Also, anyone who wants to have an exclusive lunch with Rob Van Oudenhoven tomorrow, can book a table at the Olympic Town to taste the delightful delicacies from top chef Viki Geunes.

As far as sports are concerned, everybody is looking forward to the first finals in athletics and the medal ceremonies in gymnastics.

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