Comprehensive coverage to provide many unforgettable impressions

The Special Olympics World Winter Games in Graz, Schladming and Ramsau am Dachstein will cater for many brilliant and emotional moments which need to be captured in the best possible ways to make them accessible for a broad general public. The ambitious goal is to take at least one picture of each individual athlete.

A total of approximately 2,700 athletes from 107 countries will participate in the Games – thus a good deal of organization in terms of public relation will be necessary to reach this admittedly ambitious goal. Therefore we have already been busy planning our strategy for quite a while. Many hours of work and modifications of various concepts lie behind us.

Such a large-scale public relation and media project can only be implemented with strong partners and diligent volunteers. More than 100 volunteers will provide their helping hands in our media team during the Games. More than half of them come from the Fachhochschule Joanneum, a university of applied sciences whose “Journalism and Public Relation” students will be given the opportunity to spend two weeks at the Games. The students will be involved in all forms of reporting (video, online, photo, social media, text-writing) and will thus be able to gain numerous and interesting experiences.

The Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF as national broadcaster and the big American Sport Network ESPN as international broadcaster will provide professional TV coverage. Both channels will broadcast the Opening Ceremony live. In addition, ORF will also provide live broadcasts of the Closing Ceremony and two hours of live coverage of the floorball and floor hockey competitions on four days (ORF Sport+). A detailed schedule of the broadcasts can be found at:

Our photography partner is GEPA pictures. The photo agency is not only very experienced but has also been supporting and accompanying the “Special Olympics” movement from the beginning. Up to eight GEPA-photographers will be on site during the Games and provide pictures of the highest quality for distribution all over the world. 

It is not necessary to mention that today apps play an important role. “Austria 2017”, the official app for the World Winter Games has been developed by “ma mobileanimation”, a company based in Graz. It provides all relevant information for visitors about the Games, e.g. results, schedules, locations etc.. In addition, users of the app can become active participants of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies by lighting the “Flame of Hope” on their mobile phone or by emitting the “Heartbeat for the World” with their smartphone.

An exceptional photo-app called “Special FotoApp” has been developed by the agency “Grizzly” from Graz. The aim of the app is to collect as many pictures as possible of individual athletes and to archive them in a specifically established “snapshot board“:

All pictures will be stored, sorted according to the various sports, so that the individual athletes can easily find themselves in their competition and share the pictures on their social media platforms. This way thousands of pictures of the World Winter Games should start to circulate in the various social networks. We are in particular counting on the participation of the huge number of our volunteers.

Last but not least the Special Olympics World Games also want to send a clear signal regarding accessibility for people with disabilities. Thus the idea of offering audio-descriptions for blind and visually impaired persons was translated into “Radio Special Olympics”. This is the title of the program that will be broadcast live by “Radioigel” (a radio project by the University College of Teacher Education Styria). The radio programs will come from positions in Ramsau, Schladming, and the competition sites in Graz (town hall [Stadthalle] and ice rink [Eisstadion]). And there will be an English channel for the international audience all over the world.

The commentators and presenters are all students at the University College of Teacher Education Styria (Pädagogischen Hochschule Steiermark). With the “Radio Special Olympics” project they want to present the topic “inclusion” in various ways and show that accessibility for people with disabilities is also possible through this medium. Reports, interviews and competitions will be broadcast live and can be listened to online and via local radio frequencies in the regions Schladming-Dachstein and Graz.


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