POSTED: Thursday February 7th 2013


PyeongChang, Republic of Korea - 6 February 2013 - Following eight days of competition Special Olympics World Winter Games PyeongChang 2013 officially closed on Tuesday night at the YongPyong Dome. Under the direction of acclaimed director ByeongWoo and the theme of ‘Dream Echo,’ the Closing Ceremony of the 10th Special Olympics World Winter Games continued on the week-long Games message of harmony and unity spread worldwide under the slogan “Together we can”.

During the Ceremony, a tribute was made to Special Olympics Isle of Man athlete Gareth Cowin, and the entire delegation stood in acknowledgment of their teammate and friend who unfortunately passed away just days ago.  Remarks were made by Special Olympics Chairman and CEO, Tim Shriver, by Games Organizing Committee Chairwoman Na Kyung Won and various others including Special Olympics athletes before the flag was lowered, the Games’ flame extinguished and the torch was passed to Los Angeles, host of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Emphasizing the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games official theme ‘Together We Can’ the World Games, Special Olympics Chairman and CEO, Dr. Timothy Shriver proclaimed “Together we DID!” and urged the crowd to continue the momentum of these Games “Here we come L.A., here we come world, watch out, together we can. Congratulations athletes!”

The crowd was then treated to a spectacular performance by legendary figure skaters and Special Olympics ambassadors Michelle Kwan and Yuna Kim.  The two champion skaters also did a flash mob routine with Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities, showcasing the unifying power of sport. Earlier before the performance Kwan said to the media, “I want to thank the people of Korea for hosting these games.  All of the athletes are champions, and I’m excited to be here with them. There are four million Special Olympics athletes around the world, all of who have learned a lot from sports. We’ve all fallen and learned how to pick yourself back up. It’s about doing your very own best. Everybody is a winner here.”

To end the celebration, Korean K-pop took center stage with performances by popular groups EXO-K, f(x) and the Wonder Girls, before a finale rendition of the hit ‘Gangnam Style’ ended the night as volunteers and fans joined in bringing another spectacular Special Olympics World Games to an end.  More than 3000 athletes and coaches from 106 countries took part in the 2013 PyeongChang Special Olympics World Winter Game, held from 29 January to 5 February, featuring seven categories of sports including alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, speed skating, figure skating, floor hockey, and a demo sport floorball.

More information is available at the 2013 World Games official website: Images of tonight’s Closing Ceremony are available at:  Video b-roll highlights can be downloaded from the Games host broadcaster, KBS, at; ID: special 2013; PW: 1234.

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Keywords · Special Olympics · PyeongChang 2013 · Timothy Shriver

Name: Mandy Murphy
Organization: Special Olympics
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