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FIS and Special Olympics Expand Partnership

Press Release

Oberhofen, 3rd March 2021 – The International Ski Federation (FIS) and Special Olympics (SOI) are joining forces to engage with athletes with and without intellectual disabilities by improving access to quality snow sport experiences. The organizations will collaborate to expand participation and engagement in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding around the world. The position of FIS is that snow sports are for all. This position has been reflected in the Bring Children to the Snow campaign with events taking place in over 50 countries around the world, more than 5’000’000 participants and increased access to snow sports. Now FIS and Special Olympics will increase access to snow sports for all through a new partnership.

Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement that uses sport as a catalyst to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities and create a more inclusive world for all. The organization reaches over 6 million athletes with and without intellectual disabilities in more than 190 countries and territories through year-round sports training and competition.

“Special Olympics and FIS share a common belief that sports can create a more inclusive world for athletes of all abilities. Special Olympics welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with FIS to make more high-quality, inclusive snow sport training and competition opportunities available to athletes with intellectual disabilities,” said Jon-Paul St. Germain, SOI Sport Development Senior Director.

FIS Bring Children to the Snow Coordinator Andrew Cholinski added, “We have seen World Snow Day and SnowKidz events for youth and children with intellectual disabilities before but this partnership will bring the number of these events up.”

Together with Special Olympics, the partnership will focus on the following areas:

• Promotion and activation of global snow sport moments such as World Snow Day and Snow Kidz.

• Dedicated event plans and consultation for organisers wishing to host events and actions to introduce athletes with intellectual disabilities to snow sports

• The creation of a guide for coaches and instructors on how to teach athletes with intellectual disabilities snow sports. The guide will also be translated into multiple languages.

For more information about Special Olympics click here: www.specialolympics.org/

For more information contact:

Andrew Cholinski
Coordinator Bring Children to the Snow
+41 (0) 33 244 6161