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Minister backs Special Olympians!

SPORTS Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has sent best wishes to the three local athletes competing at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

The 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games are taking place in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Praising the local athletes and their coach, who are part of Team Ireland, the Minister said: “It is a tremendous honour for our three alpine skiers – Ryan Hill, from Richhill, Rosalind Connolly, from Portadown and Lucy Best, from Lisburn – to be competing at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

“Each has shown great dedication and commitment to their chosen sport. I hope they enjoy the experience and perform to the best of their abilities. They are all winners and are sure to do us proud.

“I would also like add my best wishes to Jill Sloan, from Lurgan, who will be at the Games as a member of the Team Ireland management team.

“I look forward to hearing of their experiences and successes on their return from South Korea.”

The 2013 Special Olympic World Winter Games kicked off in the alpine town of Pyeongchang, located northeast of Seoul, on Tuesday with a grand opening ceremony (pictured).

About 3,300 athletes from 110 countries will compete in seven sporting events, such as snowboarding, alpine skiing and figure skating, and one demonstration sport, floorball.

Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is among world leaders who attended  the opening ceremony to celebrate the theme of this year’s event, ‘Together, We can’.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Special Olympics International Chairman Timothy Shriver jointly declared the opening of the World Winter Games, which run until next Tuesday, February 5.

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