SO2014 under the high protection of Princess Astrid

HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium has a very warm heart for Special Olympics in Belgium for all the right reasons. The athletes and volunteers are very proud of that. HRH also decided to support the Special Olympics 2014 Europe-Eurasia Games in Antwerp.

A few days ago, HRH gave a highly unusually interview for prime time TV. Very unlike her, very unlike our royals, as she only decided this the day before during the Opening Ceremony of the National Games! An opening ceremony that she attends every year for many hours by the way.

She took a huge risk in doing so as the Flemish media is not a big fan of the Royals. She didn’t get any questions in advance. Respect! Another milestone for Special Olympics.

(The interview is in Dutch.)

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The best Games ever

Yesterday, we launched the Special Olympics 2014 Summer Games. What a night! Thank you Nike for hosting us. Thank you Special Olympics Europe and Belgium. Thank you organizing committee. Thank you volunteers. Thank you President Herman Van Rompuy for all your support and a great speech! Thank you talented people who made this possible. Thank you partners who are already in. But most of all: THANK YOU ATHLETES for inspiring me in the past 6 months. It has been a great journey and it’s getting even better every day. I’m so proud I can be the CMO for this amazing project.

Here’s a fabulous video of Chairman and CEO, Tim Shriver, explaining what’ it’s all about.

So that was the secret mission

Those who follow me on Twitter know that for weeks now I’ve been preparing for a new and exciting mission.

The Special Olympics Summer Games 2014 are coming to Antwerp and I will take the role of CMO (Chief Marcom Officer). In the next days and weeks I will create a dream team of professionals who will work on this exciting mission for the next 3 years. As I will remain President and CEO of Hercules Trophy I will divide me time between both challenges.

Why I’m so excited? How many reasons do you need? For me, the video below was crucial to understand I want to be part of Special Olympics.

Special Olympics

In 2007, Special Olympics Belgium with the assistance of McKinsey and company developed a bid document to bring the games to Belgium. They succeeded. In September 2014 the Special Olympics Europe-Eurasia Games will come to Belgium for 9 days. Special Olympics specifically target athletes with a intellectual disabilities. Antwerp, one of the 22 Olympic cities, will host the event for 2,000 athletes and their delegations from 57 countries. More than 4,000 volunteers will help to make the multi-sport event unique and unseen.

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

  • “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”, that’s the Special Olympics athlete oath.
  • “Everyone can be a hero”, says Herculix.
  • All sports for all people. This is surely a phrase that people will consider foolishly utopian. That prospect troubles me not at all. I have pondered and studied it at length, and know that it is correct and possible.”, said Pierre de Coubertin.
  • “Sport has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.” That’s what Nelson Mandela taught us. At Hercules Trophy, we use this statement to make people understand the value of sports for teambuilding.

Understand why I’m so excited about this?

I hope we can make you all fans of Special Olympics in the years to come.

Fans of Special Olympics

 

You can find the press release here.