The Games of the hearts provide for enthusiasm
What the organizers had hoped for in the run-up has now come: The heartbeat for the world is pounding stronger and louder than ever before.
This was already apparent at the opening ceremony on Saturday evening. 15,000 people came to Schladming to watch the open-air spectacle live at the Planai stadium and to get caught up in the euphoria, the joy of life and the warmth of the over 2600 participating athletes.
And this works, it seems. Because the whole country is in the Special Olympics fever. On Sunday all the venues of the competitions were crowded, thousands of spectators fired at the athletes and created a great atmosphere. One of the fans was also Austria's Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen.
Enthusiasm also prevailed in the first award ceremonies. At the Schladminger Wetzlarplatz the winners and following places were honored and got great applause.
The World Winter Games have taken a place in the hearts of the people. Markus Pichler, CEO of the World Games 2017, says: "I almost miss the words, because the mood is just awesome. And this appreciation is really one of the most beautiful gifts for our athletes. "