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Greece’s President of Special Olympics interview in China October 8, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Olympic Games.
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Shanghai impresses the world with its greatness and magnitude, and it gives a lot of pressure to Greece, the host country of 2011 Special Olympic World Summer Games, says Joanna Despotopoulou, President of Special Olympics Greece.

Joanna praised Shanghai’s organization of Special Olympics in an exclusive interview with Xinhua, “Shanghai has done a good job and the Chinese people are very hospitable. We are deeply impressed by the opening ceremony, and all the sport venues are beautiful and very well maintained.”

The on-going event has drawn more than 10,000 athletes and coaches, which makes it the biggest edition in the Games’ history. Shanghai has 40,000 volunteers from all walks of life serving the Special Olympics.

“We are amazed by the amount of volunteers. They are dedicated and efficient. Whenever we want them to find a solution for us, they can do it. Moreover, they can speak all languages including Greek, which makes our life here much easier,” she said.

Greece has sent a 145-member delegation including 15 observers to Shanghai, making it one of the biggest delegations to the event. However, Joanna noticed Shanghai’s traffic flow was hassled by the approaching typhoon Krosa and the ending of long holidays.

“Last week the traffic was smooth because it was holiday, but today we have some problems with the transportation. But we understand that every host country have slight problems, and with good will we’ll solve every problem, because our main purpose is to make athletes happy,” Joanna said.

The 10-day sport gala for people with intellectual disabilities will end on October 11, when the Special Olympic flag is expected to be handed over to Athens, Greece.

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