From September 13 – 20, the city of Antwerp, Belgium hosted the Special Olympics European Summer Games (SOESG) 2014, the largest multi-sport event this year for athletes with intellectual disabilities. ACTLD was honored to participate in this great event by illuminating its Opening & Closing Ceremonies.
This event gathered thousands of fans, families, friends, sponsors and spectators and almost 2,000 Special Olympics athletes from 58 countries in Europe and Eurasia competed in 10 Olympic-type sports, making it the largest European multi-sport event of the year.
The Games were officially declared open by HSH Queen Matilda of Belgium at the Opening Ceremony in Brussel’s EXPO, ‘Palais 12′ with the Parade of Athletes and the lighting of the Special Olympics cauldron with the Flame of Hope in front of thousands of spectators and special guests including former IOC President and Honorary Chairman of the European Games Mr Jacques Rogge, Mr Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International.
We carried out the visual & lighting scenography of various performances involving dancers with intellectual disabilities choreography designed by Steve Martin, performances of Retina Dance Company and Move Dance Company and music by Michel Bisceglia. The Ceremony included a performance by the world renowned Scala choir in a colorful demonstration of the empowerment of people with intellectual disabilities through sport.
The Closing Ceremony was organized as a tribute to all participating athletes, coaches, families, supporters, crew, organizing committee, volunteers, artists and sponsors in Sportpaleis Antwerp. The venue, proclaimed the third most popular concert hall in the world, was put at its best with live concerts and performances of various renowned singers, dancers, artists and participants all brought together to convey a message of mutual respect, inclusion and solidarity.