Victory celebration for Special Olympics Team NL
The Dutch athletes who participated in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in South Korea were officially honoured at the Rabobank head office in Utrecht on Saturday, 16 February 2013. The Special Olympics is the leading event for athletes with a mental disability.
More than 2,300 athletes from 127 countries with a mental disability competed in South Korea. The 21 Dutch athletes took part in cross-country skiing, short track and skiing. Team NL was extremely successful, winning five gold medals, fifteen silver medals and sixteen bronze medals. Short tracker Jarno Brunink came in fourth three times and is proud of this accomplishment. ‘It is just really great to be a part of it because you obviously don’t get to experience something like this very often. It’s not always only about winning medals, the important thing is that you do your best,’ says Brunink. This means the athletes return home with both accolades for their world-class sporting achievements and with greater self-confidence and better social skills.
Rabobank Foundation partner of Special Olympics
Through the Rabobank Foundation, and alongside it a number of other organisations, Rabobank is the main sponsor of Special Olympics Netherlands. Local Rabobanks are often involved in regional and national sporting events for the disabled. There will be regional sporting events in Utrecht, Almere, Friesland and Papendrecht in 2013. And in 2014 the Rabobanks in Sneek and Heerenveen will help facilitate the national Special Olympics, which will be held in the province of Friesland.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics Netherlands organises sporting events for more than 3.4 million people with a mental disability in over 200 countries worldwide. The Dutch organisation has been active for nearly 20 years and works closely with Gehandicaptensport Nederland (the Dutch National Federation for Disabled Sports). The competitions are open to all, regardless of the level of disability. Sportsmen and women are classified into divisions on the basis of their performance and this gives everyone within a division an equal chance of winning. The events are held at local, regional, national and international level throughout the year.