Team Australia departs BNE for Special Olympics World Games
64 Australian athletes have flown out of Australia for the 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin.
Team Australia was given a Queensland Police escort to the International Terminal at Brisbane Airport and departed at 10.40pm on Sunday night via a Qatar Airways flight.
The World Games is the planet’s largest inclusive sporting event and the Special Olympics is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The Aussies will compete against 7,000 athletes with intellectual disability.
Team Australia will be in action in athletics, basketball, bocce, bowling, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, swimming and tennis.
Crowds will be supporting their teams and watching on as thousands of athletes compete in the biggest multi-sport event to be held in Germany since the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
The day Emily Taylor found out she’d been selected to compete for Australia in swimming she thought she was in trouble after finding several missed calls on her phone from her mother.
“This is a life’s dream. I dreamt of being coached by an Olympic champion, I dreamt of representing Australia, it didn’t matter what the team. I’ve always dreamt of wearing the green and gold.”
Pierre Comis, Chief Executive Officer at Special Olympics Australia, said flying the national team out of BNE made sense.
“There are 64 athletes on the team. This year Queensland has 23 on Team Australia so it made sense to fly everyone to Brisbane and take the flight out of here. Brisbane Airport has gone out of its way to accommodate us with a fantastic departure event.”
Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff wished the team well.
“We look forward to following your progress over the next couple of weeks. Do Australia proud, do your family proud, but most importantly, do yourself proud.”
For those wanting to support the Games, events will be streamed globally. Or to follow the Australian Special Olympics Team, visit: www.specialolympics.com.au
Photos of departure available here.
Video for Broadcast TV available here.
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