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  • Shriver on Special Olympics; Suu Kyi on Sport


    (ATR) Aung San Suu Kyi tells Around the Rings sport can “build up our young people physically” but also engender a “tremendously lacking” team spirit.
    Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

    Suu Kyi was speaking in PyeongChang, South Korea at the Special Olympics Global Development Summit on Ending the Cycle of Poverty and Exclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

    After addressing Tuesday’s opening ceremony of the World Winter Games alongside figure skating gold medalist Yu Na Kim and then keynoting Wednesday’s conference at the Alpensia Resort, she took questions from reporters in a joint appearance with Special Olympics CEO Timothy Shriver.

    Asked by ATR about the power of sport as a liberation tool, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate stressed “the ability to work together” and the role teamwork can play in delivering social change.

    “I hope that sports will help us to instill some of these qualities in our young people,” she said.

    “I hope that all of you will help us to help ourselves and that, in time, we will be able to help others as well,” added Suu Kyi, chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar.

    Shriver on IOC

    On the 25th anniversary of the agreement between the IOC and Special Olympics International granting permission to use the “O” word, ATR asked Shriver about his hopes for the relationship going forward.
    Timothy Shriver, chairman and CEO of Special Olympics. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

    “Ours is a movement not just focused on big Games such as this but on creating community-based empowerment for families, children, adults, the power of sport to liberate the spirit every day,” he said, citing “50,000 games a year” as evidence.

    “I hope that future generations of leaders of the Olympic Movement will see the importance of community-based sport, of sport that liberates children and adults every day, not just in singular events every two of four years but every day, and that those big events become not a destination themselves but rather a way of learning the power of physical activity and play to bring people together and to heel deep and lasting social and emotional and even spiritual challenges, that our bodies in effect can liberate us to see the world differently,” added the longtime activist and son of Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

    POCOG on World Winter Games

    PyeongChang 2018 President Jin Sun Kim says the Special Olympics are certainly not the size of the Winter Games, but still an event he is watching.
    Jacques Rogge and Jin Sun Kim with the joint marketing agreement. (ATR/Panasonic Lumix)

    So too is IOC President Jacques Rogge, who arrived Wednesday in Seoul to sign the joint marketing deal with POCOG and will travel Thursday to PyeongChang for a look at the Winter Olympics locale.

    He will also get the chance to take in some of the sport at the Special Olympics, which run through Feb. 5 with 3,100 athletes from 110 countries competing.

    Written by Matthew Grayson with reporting in PyeongChang from Ed Hula

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