09/09/2014 Eurostar carry Special Olympics GB Team to the 2014 European Summer Games
Athletes given special send off as they leave London St. Pancras
The Special Olympics GB team were given a special send off from London St. Pancras today as they set off to compete in the 2014 European Summer Games in Antwerp, Belgium.
Members of the Eurostar team waved flags to show support for the athletes, set to inspirational music played by a brass quintet from the Royal College of Music.
As the exclusive travel partner, Eurostar carried over 100 athletes, coaches and officials on the 10.58 departure to Brussels, and will be welcoming the athletes back to London on their return journey on the 22nd September. Special Olympics GB is the largest registered charity providing year round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities.
Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar CEO, said: "We are proud to support the great work of the Special Olympics GB team. In our 20 year history we have carried many sporting teams to major events including bringing the French, Belgian and Dutch national teams to London 2012. We wish the team the best of luck in the Games as they head off on Eurostar from St. Pancras today.”
Special Olympics GB CEO, Karen Wallin, said: "I would like to thank Eurostar for extending their travel expertise and support to our athletes for the forthcoming European Summer Games in Antwerp. Generous contributions, like this one from Eurostar, help to give our athletes the best possible preparation for one of the highlights of their lives.”
The European Summer Games, a European showpiece event for Special Olympics, will open on 13 September and will run until the closing ceremony on 20 September 2014. In the region of 2,000 athletes with learning disabilities from 58 European countries will take part in the following 10 sports events: Athletics, Artistic Gymnastics, Football, Bocce, Badminton, Basketball, Cycling, Judo, Table Tennis and Swimming.
Almost 1.2 million people in the UK (2% of the population) have an intellectual disability. If you would like to find out more about Special Olympics GB & their European Summer Games team, please visit our website www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Special Olympics is a global organisation that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition to nearly 4 million children and adults with intellectual (learning) disabilities in almost 200 countries.
- Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of the late President John F Kennedy, Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities opportunities to realise their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience friendship.
- Special Olympics is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the third member of the Olympic family. It is the only sports organisation authorised by the IOC to use the word ‘Olympics’ in its title.
- To enjoy a flavour of Special Olympics and its positive impact on people with intellectual disabilities and their families, please take a moment to watch the attached video from the 2011 World Games in Athens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqey7PLeeIQ. Read more at Special Olympics GB's website: http://www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk/
For further information, please contact:
Chris Hull - Special Olympics GB
Mobile: +44 (0) 7713 193927.
- Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
- Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways). On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.
- The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph. Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 140 million passengers between London and the Continent. Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet. The new Eurostar e320 will carry more than 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph.
- Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe’s leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
- Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer.
For more information:
Eurostar Press Office
020 7843 5500