Special Olympics in Barcelona and Calella
A total of 8 players of the special group led by Sergi Bruguera, were able to take part in the Jocs Special Olympics that were organized in Barcelona and Calella from October 30 to November 2, 2015. They joined a total group of 1,600 athletes with learning difficulties from different nations. This is the biggest event celebrated in Catalonia for this special group of athletes, making it an important date for the athletes that are able to demonstrate all of their training and practice in front of players from other nations. The total participation gathered athletes from six different communities in Spain - Madrid, Castilla y Leon, Valencia, Murcia, Andalucia and Aragon - and from about twenty different countries: Andorra, Italy, Monaco, Gibraltar, Denmark, Hungary, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Morocco, India, Austria and Israel
This has been the tenth edition of the Special Olympic Games, and one of the most international. A total of 12 different sports were organized among the two venues. Barcelona hosted the basketball, tennis (this time with 30 players) and sailing. Calella organized the nine other sports: badminton, soccer, handball, table tennis, gymnastics, petanque, swiming, track and field and indoor hockey. All of them showed a high standard of play and had spectators on the stands following the matches.
The different Sports were played under the Canigo flame that unlighted the brazier. The route of Special Olympic Torch went to the ten different cities that hosted the games previously or that defend strongly their ideals. The torch went to Figueres, Girona, Igualada, Lleida, Reus, Tarragona, Vilanova i la Geltru, Lloret de Mar, Barcelona and Calella to finally enlightened the brazier in a spectacular opening ceremony that the TV was able to record. The three days of competition finished in a closing ceremony in Calella.
The Special Olympic Games are organized by the ACELL Federation and Special Olympics Catalonia. The two entities work closely to break the barriers of the athletes with learning difficulties in society through sport.
A special TV report followed the progress of some of the athletes during their preparations and the competition itself.