The 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games was held in the state of Idaho, USA from February 7 through February 13, 2009. Nearly 2500 athletes from over 100 countries participated in the games. Dignitaries included actors, musicians, athletes and politicians from around the United States and the world.
Boise, Idaho USA will play host to the world for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games. From February 6 to 13, 2009, nearly 3,000 athletes from 85 countries will compete in seven Olympic-type sports: Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, floor hockey, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and speed skating.
Held in the spectacular mountains of Boise, Tamarack Resort, and Sun Valley, Idaho, the 2009 World Games is expected to be the largest World Winter Special Olympics Games in the history of the movement.
Additionally, Idaho will hold an Invitational Games event from February 25-28 2008, that will serve as a prelude to the 2009 World Winter Games. The 2009 World Winter Games will also provide a venue for global discussions and action on the impact Special Olympics can make on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Up to 190 million people worldwide have an intellectual disability, making it the largest disability group worldwide.
Intellectual disability crosses racial, ethnic, educational, social and economic lines, and can occur in any family.
"The global Special Olympics movement is bigger and stronger than ever," said Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver. "But there is still a lot of work to be done. A generation of young people is looking for something to inspire them, to engage them, something they can take ownership of and pride in. Our athletes provide that inspiration every day, and we invite the world to experience it firsthand."
Possible sports venues include Tamarack Resort, Bogus Basin, Taco Bell Arena, Qwest Arena, Idaho Ice World, Boise Center on the Grove and Boise State University. More than 2,000 athletes from 100 nations will participate in the 2009 World Winter Games, competing in seven Olympic-type sports.
"Idaho has the great honor of hosting the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games," said Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter. "It will be my privilege as Governor to welcome the world to our home and to invite everyone to be a fan of both this tremendous international event and the Special Olympics global movement. We are looking forward to a competitive extravaganza, as well as a diverse and profoundly human experience as the athletes showcase their abilities on the world stage."
Idaho is a combination of traditional and non-traditional sights and attractions.
The State capital, Boise, is known as '"The City of the Trees" boasting museums and parks, a river flowing through the heart of the city and a 25 mile river front greenbelt. Southwest Idaho's easily accessible outdoor activities beckon the Boise visitor to enjoy nearby mountains for a wonderful winter retreat. Located just 16.5 miles from the city of Boise, Bogus Basin is considered the 'local' mountain.
Athletes from all over the world have started escorting the Flame of Hope through the Gem State.
The flame arrived in Coeur d'Alene Thursday morning and is making its way through Northern Idaho. The flame began last November when the flame was lit in Athens, Greece.The torch traveled 37,000 miles and five continents. The flame will travel throughout Idaho for 10 days before arriving in Boise for the Opening Ceremonies on Feb 6th, 2009.
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