Special Olympics Slovakia, the pride of an entire nation
“The sky over Berlin” has this particular tendency to take on the colours of sport, the colours of victory. The German capital hosted the 16th Special Olympics World Games last June, and the 51 athletes with intellectual disabilities from Special Olympics Slovakia, on lifting their eyes to the sky after winning a top medal, definitely saw their colours there, those of their jerseys worn with pride, passion and a sense of belonging. The Berlin event represents the biggest inclusive sporting moment in the world, a celebration of sport where competition is complemented by a philosophy of inclusion and acceptance. Values that the Macron Hero fully embodies and that on this occasion stood out on the jerseys of the Special Olympics Slovakia children, accompanying them on what was without doubt, an unforgettable journey.
A medals table that will go down in history
There are over 670 kilometres separating Bratislava from Berlin, and every inch of this journey will remain in the hearts and memories of the athletes and the Slovak delegation (the largest since 1993), not only because of the successes achieved but also because of the visible growth of all the athletes. A growth that allowed them to compete against the best in the world, proving that they were the absolute best many times. The final medals table speaks for itself: 39 medals, 11 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze. A haul that will go down in the history of Slovakian sport. “I saw all the athletes competing in the finals, I am proud of their performance,” said Dominika Nestarcová, president of Special Olympic Slovakia. A country that can be proud of these athletes with disabilities, who once again demonstrated the power and magic of sport.
Slovakia, land of champions
In tennis, champions abound in Slovakia, and this was also demonstrated by Thomas Sebastián Márton, the star of the men’s singles and unified team competition, not only by winning the gold medal in both cases, but by also captivating the public with his positive attitude and bubbly personality. Veronika Mačková, star of the cycling team, the largest in Berlin, lived up to all expectations, returning home with three gold medals around her neck. Seven medals were collected in swimming, three in table tennis and one in golf. The entire gymnastics team won medals and Ela Nemčeková became the most successful gymnast with two golds. Team sports, such as women’s football and men’s volleyball, also made it onto the podium, demonstrating great tenacity and fighting spirit.
Sports vibes breaking down walls
Special Olympics World Games Berlin saw a total of 187 countries, 26 sports and 7000 athletes, each of whom was “their own hero”. This was the case for the 51 young people from the Special Olympics Slovakia delegation, athletes who put all their heart and guts into the Games, together with the joy of being part of a team, of proudly wearing their nation’s colours. Sport breaks down walls and in Berlin they know a thing or two about walls coming down, so much so that there are flying stones in this event’s official logo, carrying the joy, colours and vibrations of sport all over the world. Joy and vibrations that the Slovak athletes were able to channel together with the determination to face their challenges and to achieve their goals. This is the meaning of #BecomeYourOwnHero.