Opening Ceremony

grand opening combining choreography, international artists’ performances and inclusive acts, sending out a message of joy and friendship. That is what you can expect from our wonderful opening ceremony.

The Games are open!

The 2014 European Summer Games are officially opened by Her Royal Highness Queen Mathilde of Belgium at a spectacular ceremony  in Brussel’s EXPO, ‘Palais 12' on Saturday Sept 13th.


The highlight of the Opening Ceremony was the Parade of Athletes in front of thousands of spectators and special guests including former IOC President and Honorary Chairman of the European Games Mr Jacques Rogge, Mr Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International and Russian supermodel and philanthropist Ms Natalia Vodianova. Another highlight was the lighting of the Special Olympics cauldron with the Flame of Hope which was lit in the ancient zone of Alexandroupolis, Greece in a ceremony on September 4th. The Flame arrived in Belgium from Greece on September 9th and is carried by athletes and torch bearers 450kms through Belgium before it’s arrival for the Opening Ceremony. 
Athletes and spectators were entertained by a unified dance extravaganza involving dancers with intellectual disabilities designed by Steve Martin, Retina Dance Company and music by Michel Biscwglia, nominated for the 2014 World Soundtrack Award. The Ceremony included a performance by the world renowned Scala choir in a colourful demonstration of the empowerment of people with intellectual disabilities through sport.
Thousands of fans, families, friends, sponsors and spectators have travelled to Antwerp for the 2014 Special Olympics European Summer Games where almost 2,000 Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities from 58 countries in Europe and Eurasia will compete in 10 Olympic-type sports in what will be the largest European multi-sport event of the year. 


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