Table Tennis Committee members sought (voluntary) – multiple positions

Virtus is seeking applications to join its Table Tennis Committee for the period through to Global Games 2027. The roles offer a fantastic opportunity for coaches and sports practitioners with a good understanding of elite sport for athletes with an impairment to grow sport at a national and regional level and make a direct contribution to the running and development of the Virtus sport programme internationally.

Virtus Sports Committees lead and manage our sport and competition programme. In particular they are responsible for development and growth across all regions, all aspects of competition management, rules, classification management (where applicable) and for fostering positive and mutually beneficial partnerships with International Federations.

Application process and deadline

Applications should be made using the online form giving details of your background and experience for the post.

Your application will be shared with the relevant Virtus national member organisation and an interview may be held before a final decision is made.

Applications should be sent no later than 8th June 2024.

Information about the roles

Reports to: Sport Director

Start date: Immediate

End date: Late 2027. Appointments are reviewed on a 4-year cycle, after each Global Games

Working collaboratively, Committee Members will manage the programme taking lead responsibility for agreed areas.

Key Areas of Responsibility


  • To work collaboratively within the Sport Committee whose responsibility is to coordinate and manage the relevant Virtus sport  programme
  • To attend and actively participate in all meetings of the Committee
  • To take responsibility for agreed tasks as designated by the Committee
  • To attend events, acting as Technical Delegate where designated by the Committee
  • To liaise with the local Virtus Region to deliver the sport plan and priorities

Key Skills and Qualifications (Competency)

  • Has an excellent understanding of, and empathy for, intellectual disability sport and the para sport world
  • Has excellent understanding of the rules of the sport and able to apply them fairly and consistently
  • Has good leadership skills and is able to work effectively within a team
  • Has excellent organisational, communication and administrative skills

Major Interactions

  • Chair of the Virtus sport committee
  • Virtus Executive Director and management team
  • Virtus Regions and National Member Organisations
  • Any other stakeholders including potential sponsors and dignitaries

General Requirements

  • All Virtus officials must make all decisions with absolute impartiality in the best interest of athletes, sport and the organisation
  • All Virtus officials must declare any potential conflict of interest and not act in association with any national or vested interest
  • All Virtus officials must not abuse their positions or capacity in obtaining advantages or benefits
  • There must be no association with any agencies or persons that are inconsistent with the 
principles of the Virtus  movement and its ideals
  • All Virtus officials shall promote the Virtus Code of Ethics by role modelling, peer monitoring and active peer support
  • All relationships and activities with partners, supporters and sponsors must be done in the spirit of promoting Virtus

Filip Walecki’s Inspiring First Virtus Gold Medal Win at Almaty 2024

Filip Walecki clinched his first-ever Virtus medal at the 2024 Virtus World Half Marathon and 10K Road Race in Almaty. The celebration was double as the first medal came in the form of a Gold medal.

At just 26 years old, Filip’s remarkable journey to victory serves as a powerful testament to the virtues of determination, passion, and triumph. Alongside his older brother Jakub and their three beloved dogs, Filip and his family embrace an active lifestyle, immersing themselves in a myriad of sports and activities, fostering bonds and creating cherished memories along the way. Filip is a resident of the quaint town of Czarków in southern Poland.

I feel so happy to win this Gold medal. It is a dream come true. In the autumn of 2023, my journey with Virtus began when I participated in the cross-running competition in Ciechanów. Virtus events have motivated me to train harder and be better, it has been a catalyst for my success”

For Filip, the joy of running lies in the feeling of accomplishment at the finish line.

I love it when I finish any race, the feeling of accomplishment, people recognising me and congratulations, the fact that I can say: ‘ I DID IT!!!, he proudly exclaims, reflecting on his love for the sport.

Filip has an intellectual impairment and Down syndrome and competes in the II2 competition class in the Virtus competition. Filip’s parents reflect on how Down Syndrome has profoundly impacted Filip’s and his family’s lives.

Down Syndrome has profoundly impacted every aspect of our lives. The multitude of challenges associated with this genetic condition has made every task extremely difficult, requiring an immense amount of determination and resilience to overcome. From navigating daily activities to striving towards long-term goals, the journey is often filled with many obstacles that are overwhelming for all of us.”

“The intellectual impairment further complicates matters, making it challenging, if not impossible, to fully understand the complexities of the world around us. Yet, despite these hurdles, we continue to persevere, driven by a steadfast commitment to overcoming adversity and achieving our aspirations.”

Despite facing challenges, he continues to inspire others with his resilience and commitment to success.

Filip posing on the podium at Almaty 2024. Photo Credit: IDSport

Philip gives credit to his beloved dog, Hera, an Alaskan Malamute, who sparked Filip’s interest in running, sports and fitness.

After undergoing extensive physiotherapy, my focus shifted towards sports and fitness. However, the pivotal moment came with the introduction of my pet dog- Hera, into my life. Known for their high energy levels, Hera’s need for activity motivated me to start with short walks and gradually progress to longer ones. Eventually, we ventured into the mountains, tackling ultramarathons together. In 2021, I completed my longest distance yet, covering 74 km without Hera by my side. Additionally, we participated in numerous dog trekking competitions, further fueling my passion for running and outdoor adventures.”

While training presents its challenges, Filip finds strength in his coach, Ewelina Zbijowska, and his club Start Bielsko. Filip’s ultimate goal in life is “to be the winner in anything he does.” His unwavering determination and commitment to success serve as an inspiration to all who encounter his story.

Filip Walachia’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, passion, and unwavering determination. As he continues to chase his dreams, Filip’s story serves as a reminder that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

New and Returning Champions Take Center Stage At Almaty 2024

The 2024 Virtus World Half-Marathon And 10K Road Race in Almaty, Kazakhstan, showcased remarkable athleticism and sportsmanship, with athletes from around the globe converging to compete in this prestigious event. Among the outstanding performances, the host nation Kazakhstan shone brightly along with Cristiano Pereira, who stayed undefeated in the Half-Marathon once again leaving an indelible mark on the competition.

(L-R) Yudai Takayama, Cristiano Pereira, Keiya Kobayashi at 21km race Alamaty 2024. Photo Credit: IDSport

In the Men’s 21 km II1 category, Cristiano Pereira of Portugal clinched the gold with a stellar time of 1:06:46, displaying exceptional speed and endurance. Yudai Takayama and Keiya Kobayashi of Japan claimed the silver and bronze medals, respectively, showcasing their determination and skill on the challenging course.

Winners from Men’s 10 km II1 (L) and Women’s 21 km II1 (R). Photo Credit: IDSport

Ibai Magdaleno Palacios of Spain dominated the Men’s 10 km II1 category, crossing the finish line in 33:15 to secure the gold medal. Daniel Bosy of Poland and Viktor Karadzhov of Bulgaria demonstrated impressive performances to clinch the silver and bronze medals, respectively, highlighting their prowess in the shorter distance.

“The competition was wonderful. I have been practising a lot and after months of work, this is the best possible reward,” Magdaleno acknowledged

In the Men’s II2 10 km road race, Poland’s Filip Walecki showed resilience and true sportsman spirit by running the solo race in his category and was awarded gold.

In the Women’s 21 km II1 category, Poland’s Monika Wyrobek thrashed last edition’s champion, Anna and emerged victorious, clocking an impressive time of 1:32:07 to claim the gold medal. Anna Bodziony secured the silver medal.


(L-R) Host nation runners, Azamat Ashirbay, Dastan Ordabay and Madi Zhakyp flaunting their flag on the podium in the II3 category. Photo Credit: IDSport

Host nation Kazakhstan truly excelled in the Men’s 10 km II3 category, with Dastan Ordabay leading the charge to claim the gold medal with a remarkable time of 47:41. Azamat Ashirbay and Madi Zhakyp showcased their talent and determination, securing the silver and bronze medals, respectively, to the delight of the home crowd.

2024 Virtus World Half-Marathon And 10K Road race Declared Open At Almaty, Kazakhstan

The 2024 Virtus World Half-Marathon and 10K Road race was declared open today in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This event is significantly important for Virtus as this event is making its way to the Asian region for the first time event and is hosted by Kazakhstan’s Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Impairment- IDSport.

The Virtus World Championship is included in the official republican calendar of events in the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Athletes from 8 countries, Portugal, Bulgaria, Japan, Poland, China, Spain, Sweden and Kazakhstan, will compete at Almaty 2024.

During the Opening Ceremony the President of Virtus Asia, the Secretary General of NPC Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan ID Sports Federation welcomed all participants including delegates, representatives of NGOs, sports organizations and the press. Participants of the event stood for the anthem of Virtus and flags were displayed.

Expressing excitement for the event, Dina Temirgaliyeva, President of Kazakhstan’s Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Impairment said,

“We are delighted to have all the athletes, officials and parents here at Almaty 2024. The competition coincides with World Autism Awareness Month which has added additional importance to this event apart from being the first one in the Asian region and shows our commitment to the principles of inclusion and equality in sports.”

The Virtus representatives, the leader of the Kazakhstan Paralympic Committee, the IEA sports federation, and the athletics federation of the Republic of Kazakhstan with the participation of experts hosted a media briefing conference “VIRTUS, development of high-achieving sports for athletes with intellectual impairments in the Republic of Kazakhstan” on April 20, 2024.

Dina Temirgaliyeva, President of IDSport (left) and Patrick Chan, President of Virtus Asia (right) at the media briefing

“I’m very glad to be here. Thanks to Kazakhstan for hosting. I hope that everyone will have only good impressions. Virtus gives people/athletes with an intellectual impairment the opportunity to develop and excel in sports, and through its various pathways, it provides the opportunity to participate in various international competitions like Virtus Global Games, Virtus World Championships, Regional Games and the Paralympic Games. Our vision is an inclusive world for athletes with an intellectual impairment” said Mr Patrick Chan, the President of Virtus Asia.

Mr Olzhas Akpambetov, Secretary General of NPC Kazakhstan, also attended the opening ceremony and was thrilled to meet the athletes from different countries.

“On the part of the National Paralympic Committee, we support the idea of hosting the first World Virtus Half Marathon Championships here in Kazakhstan wholeheartedly. We hope that the athletes will show us their best results. And this will be just the beginning of organising such marathons in Kazakhstan on an annual basis. I hope that the result of this event will attract more athletes from all over Central Asia in the next editions.”

The races will officially commence on April 21, 2024, and are included in the annual Almaty Half Marathon program with the support of the “Courage to be the First” foundation and Almaty City Council administration.

The 2023 European half-marathon champion, Cristiano Pereira from Portugal, is also making his way to Almaty for the event. The host nation will be represented by a team of six athletes from II1 (athletes with intellectual impairment) and II3 (athletes with autism), including 5 runners from Astana and 1 from Almaty.

For accreditation and additional information, please contact the press service of the Federation and follow updated information on social networks. 

Contact for media enquiries:

Name: Tansholpan Tel.: +7 (707) -555 39 83 | Email:

Results, news alerts and detailed information will be available on the IDSport website and Virtus website along with their social media handles.

Unveiling Virtus’ Inaugural Anti-Doping Awareness Program On Play True Day

April 19th marks a significant occasion in the world of sports – it’s celebrated globally as ‘PLAY TRUE’ day, launched by World Anti-Doping Agency – WADA exactly a decade ago. The origin of Play True Day traces back to an Education Conference convened by WADA in 2013, attended by representatives from 17 Latin American countries. Since its inception in 2014, Play True Day has evolved into an annual global celebration, dedicated to promoting clean sport and raising awareness about the imperative of doping prevention among athletes, sporting enthusiasts, and the broader community.  

This year, Virtus Sport is proud to announce the launch of its inaugural ‘Anti-Doping Awareness Program’, reaffirming its commitment to clean and fair competition. As a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code, Virtus stands firm in its resolve to combat doping in all its forms. 

Virtus Sport Anti-Doping Officer, Juliana Soares, spearheading our awareness program, stated, 

I am thrilled with the launch of this campaign and the unwavering support from the entire Virtus team and our partners. Anti-doping education for athletes with intellectual impairments is as important as it is for any other athlete, and thus, we have initiated the “Virtus Anti-Doping Awareness Program.” 

This initiative aims to equip athletes with simple yet effective tools, fostering a proactive and engaging approach towards understanding anti-doping principles.” 

“We see this project as a way for our athletes to understand anti-doping better and feel sure about it. Athletes with an intellectual impairment need to know that they are an important part of the sports community and must follow WADA rules. At Virtus, we promise to help them with the right guidance and support they need.” 

The Anti-Doping Educational Program aims to empower athletes, coaches, parents, and National Member Organisations with vital knowledge and resources to uphold the principles of clean sport. Through engaging visual content and educational videos, we’ll cover a range of topics, including: 

  • What is anti-doping? 
  • List of prohibited items 
  • The doping test process 
  • Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) 
  • Rights and duties of athletes, coaches, parents, and Virtus Sport  members 
  • Consequences of doping 

In addition to these resources, Virtus will host monthly online seminars, diving into each topic in-depth and providing participants with valuable insights and practical advice. To make learning interactive and enjoyable, we’ll conclude each month with a fun quiz in the form of multiple-choice questions, hosted on Virtus’ Instagram page. 

On this Play True Day, Virtus Sport invites you to join us in championing the values of integrity, fairness, and respect in sport. Together, let’s take a stand for clean competition and inspire a culture of honesty and accountability. 

For more information, visit the Virtus Anti-Doping program page.

Call for Participation: Shape the Future of Anti-Doping Education  

Virtus is teaming up with researchers from Canterbury Christ Church University to elevate the quality of anti-doping materials delivered by Virtus Sport, and we need your input! 

Join us for engaging discussions scheduled for May 1st, May 31st, and June 28th. Your feedback is invaluable in refining future anti-doping content to be both effective and engaging. 


  • Athletes must belong to the II1 Class. 
  • Participants must have watched the anti-doping educational videos and attended the seminar delivered by Virtus. 

This is your chance to share what you enjoyed about the session and program and provide feedback on how it could be improved. 

As a token of our appreciation for your time and contribution, participants will receive £75 compensation. 

Interested athletes are requested to contact the lead researcher, Philip Hurst to book the place (please note, that spaces are limited, so this will be a first come first serve basis). 

Let’s pave the way for a cleaner, fairer, and more informed sporting landscape together. Don’t miss this opportunity to have your voice heard and make a tangible impact on anti-doping education. 

Celebrating World Autism Awareness Day with Danish Golden Girl, Maria-Kjer’s Inspiring Journey

In the realm of high-performance sports, barriers were not just broken but shattered at the 2023 Virtus Global Games (GG2023), marking a historic moment as the II3 eligibility group, dedicated to athletes with autism, was incorporated into the full medal program for the first time.

Among the many inspiring stories that emerged, Maria-Kjer Rasmussen, a Danish swimmer with autism, stood out as a beacon of talent and determination. Her journey at GG2023 was nothing short of spectacular, clinching an impressive tally of eight gold medals across various disciplines, from backstroke to butterfly.

Reflecting on her experience, Maria shared,

The GG2023 was a transformative journey filled with camaraderie and newfound friendships from across the globe. Competing against fellow II3 athletes was empowering, and to return home with eight gold medals was beyond my wildest dreams.

Maria’s journey is not just about athletic prowess but also about overcoming challenges associated with autism. Supported by her coach Mads Maj and her family, she found solace and joy in swimming, turning her passion into a remarkable success story.

Speaking about her autism, Maria emphasized,

“It’s a part of me, shaping my journey in swimming and beyond. While it may pose challenges, I’ve found understanding and support, especially from organizations like Virtus Sport.”

Maria-Kjer before her 200m backstroke event (left) and sharing one of her eight golden podiums at GG2023. Photo Credit: T.NGUYEN

Virtus Sport’s commitment to inclusivity has played a pivotal role in Maria’s sporting endeavours, providing a platform where individuals with invisible impairments can compete on equal footing.

“I was really excited to know that a competition group for people with autism was found by Virtus Sport last year, and that now we can compete in the sports we love on fair terms as everyone else, with other people with autism.”

Looking ahead, Maria’s sights are set on the GG2027 in Cairo, aiming to surpass her previous achievements and set new records.

The introduction of the II3 eligibility class as a full medal event signifies a monumental stride towards inclusivity in high-performance sports. With anticipation building for the upcoming GG2027, Maria’s story serves as an inspiration to athletes worldwide.

Maria-Kjer has become an inspiration not only to her fellow Danes but also to individuals across the globe after her success at GG2023. Her journey resonates deeply with aspiring athletes, and she has a heartfelt message for those who look up to her:

Dream big, but don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Embrace the challenges, cherish the victories, and never lose sight of the joy in sports.”

Maria’s journey is a testament to the power of perseverance and the boundless potential within every individual, regardless of their challenges.

Lene-Kjer, Maria’s devoted mother, shared her enthusiasm and unwavering support for the groundbreaking II3 class.

“As a parent, myself and many others have closely followed the journey of developing this II3 class by Virtus Sport,”

“We are thrilled that they now have a full competition class where athletes can not only win medals like the II1 and II2 classes but also set World Records, pushing boundaries and inspiring themselves and others to excel even further.”

To learn more about the II3 eligibility class or to apply for eligibility, visit and be a part of the movement towards a more inclusive sporting world.

Watch the video from the #AthleteFirst campaign where Jan Burns, Virtus Eligibility head explains the II3 eligibility class along with exciting messages from athletes with autism and intellectual impairments about the II3 medal event at GG2023.

IBSA, World Abilitysport, Virtus, join operational forces to benefit Para athletes

The International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), World Abilitysport and Virtus have begun work on a new collaboration which will see the three organisations share resources and knowledge for the benefit of Para athletes and their stakeholders around the world.

The founding members of the Paralympic movement have been in operation for many decades. IBSA has helped develop sports for people with vision impairments whilst World Abilitysport – following a recent merge with the Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association (CPISRA) – has taken care of sports for people with physical impairments and Virtus for people with intellectual impairments and Autism.

IBSA is the international federation for the Paralympic sports of goalball, blind football and judo as well as other non-Paralympic sports. World Abilitysport is the international federation for wheelchair fencing and powerchair hockey and has recently taken on the governance for World Para Dance Sport.

Athletes in action from Blind Football at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Photo Credit: OIS/Thomas Lovelock.

Each organisation also independently organise a regular calendar of Games and competitions and is responsible for advocating for their respective communities and Para athletes. They are recognised individually as International Organisations of Sport for the Disabled (IOSDs) by the International Paralympic Committee.

The new three-way partnership will see joint working in common areas such as anti-doping, media and communications and broadcasting.

IBSA President, Ilgar Rahimov, said, “Throughout our history, IBSA has enjoyed a close working relationship with our fellow IOSDs, sharing ideas and collaborating on important issues.”

During my election campaign in 2023, I promised IBSA Members that we would transform the way IBSA works with both internal and external stakeholders. Along with World Abilitysport and Virtus, we realised that a lot of the work we do independently could be shared between us, to save resources, improve efficiency and remove duplication.”

I am delighted to begin this new journey as we explore together how we can deliver more – and better – for Members, sports and athletes.”

Kevin Polish USA competing in Wheelchair Archery at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Photo Credit: OIS/Bob Martin.

World Abilitysport President, Rudi Van Den Abbeele, said, “World Abilitysport has been through some very big changes in recent years, not least the merger with CPISRA. This meant we became the single, global organisation for developing sports for people with physical disabilities.

This new exploratory exercise will allow us to establish how we can share resources between the IOSDs and what common themes there are amongst our constituents, with the aim of streamlining our operations so we can invest even more in our unique core work.”

Breanna Clark USA crosses the finish line in the Women’s 400m – T20 Final at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Photo Credit: OIS/Thomas Lovelock.

Marc Truffaut, Virtus President, said, “The IOSD’s have a huge role advocating for people with an impairment both within Paralympic and particularly non-Paralympic sports. We are delighted to renew our partnership with IBSA and World Abilitysport”.

About the IOSDs

IBSA was founded in 1981 following a huge increase in interest in sports for people with vision impairments and a need for a specific body to represent them. In the years that followed, IBSA became responsible for goalball, judo and blind football.

IBSA stages a World Games every four years which showcase these sports as well as many others such as athletics and swimming. The full history of IBSA can be viewed here:

World Abilitysport is the oldest of the three IOSDs. With its history dating back to the first International Stoke Mandeville Games in 1952, it is the only organisation that provides a full international competition at entry, development and qualifying levels for people with physical impairments. Today, World Abilitysport hosts a series of Games where aspiring and established Para athletes can compete together in both Paralympic and non-Paralympic sports and is the international federation for wheelchair fencing, powerchair hockey and Para dance sports. More information about the history of World Abilitysport can be viewed here:

Virtus was founded (as INAS) in 1986 and is the International Sports Federation for athletes with an intellectual impairment. It organises an annual programme of World and Regional Championships in 13 sports, culminating in the four-yearly Global Games – the largest elite sports event in the world for people with an intellectual impairment. More information about Virtus can be found here:

IBSA, World Abilitysport, and Virtus – the latter two of which have rebranded in recent years – were all Members of the International Coordinating Committee of Sports for the Disabled in the World (ICC). In 1989 the ICC established the International Paralympic Committee with the responsibility for organising the Paralympic Games.

Double victory for Portugal at Zakopane 2024

The curtains fell on the exhilarating finale of the inaugural Virtus European Winter Games, a day filled with a rollercoaster of emotions.

Amidst the electric atmosphere of the final day, where basketball and futsal titans clashed for podium supremacy, Mother Nature cast her unpredictable hand, forcing the cancellation of the much-anticipated skiing event, leaving athletes disheartened.

Team Portugal posing with trophy

Yet, amidst the disappointment, the Portuguese contingent shone brightly, showcasing their unwavering dominance in team sports.

We knew we had to bring our A-game,” remarked a triumphant Portuguese basketball player after their resounding victory over France I.

It was a tough match, but we stuck to our game plan and pulled through.”

In a historic debut for 3×3 basketball at the Virtus competition, Portugal’s seasoned champions left an indelible mark.

“The pace was exhilarating,With fewer players and more ground to cover, it demanded our absolute best, but we relished every moment of it.” exclaimed another Portuguese player.

The Portuguese team, renowned as a formidable force in team sports across European and world championships, once again asserted their dominance, claiming victory in both 3×3 basketball and futsal at the Winter European Games.

In the basketball finals showdown against France I, Portugal wasted no time seizing control, establishing an early lead in the first quarter. With unwavering pressure, they maintained their advantage throughout, ultimately triumphing with a final score of 17-14.

The introduction of 3×3 basketball to the Virtus competition marked a historic moment, and it was Team Portugal who etched their name in the annals of history by clinching the inaugural title. With their unparalleled experience as multiple-time European and world champions, they proved their mettle once again on the Winter European Games stage.


Talking about the structure of the game and the experience, Portuguese basketball team says,

“Playing the 3×3 match today was definitely a new experience for the whole team. It was very difficult as we had less players and more grounds to cover. It is also faster than he 5×5 match. But we enjoyed playing the match”

Host nation tasted defeat by the hands of France-II in the bronze medal match 18-3.

Portuguese Futsal team. Photo Credit: Sprawni-razem

In a gripping display of futsal prowess, the Spanish team surged ahead in the first half, establishing a commanding lead of 3-1 and persistently widening the gap, edging closer to the coveted bronze medal. Their relentless offensive onslaught culminated in a triumphant 7-4 victory over Poland, securing their place on the podium amidst jubilant celebrations.

Meanwhile, in the eagerly awaited finals clash, France launched a spirited assault against Portugal, fueled by aspirations of clinching the championship trophy. However, their aspirations were dashed as the Portuguese squad swiftly seized control with a 2-0 lead in the opening quarter. Despite a valiant attempt at a comeback, with the French team netting two goals of their own, they ultimately succumbed to Portugal’s relentless pressure, conceding defeat by a final scoreline of 7-2.

“The match was a definitely difficult. We had one new player but others had experience so it was easy to modify our game as per the situation and win the trophy,” said the head coach of Portuguese team.

Full results of the can be accessed from VEWG website.

Italy topping the medal tally in rowing at Zakopane 2024

The third day of the Virtus European Winter Games concluded today in Zakopane with Italy dominating the podium in rowing and several skiers claiming their second gold medals.

Indoor Rowing

Italy dominated the podiums in Indoor rowing as four of it’s outstanding rowers win multiple medals.

Italians dominating the rowing events podium. Photo Credit: Sprawni-razem

Marta Piccininno (ITA) showcased her prowess on the rowing machine, clinching gold in both the Women’s II1 2000m and 1000m events, proving her dominance across varying distances.

Italy’s Francesco Saverio Di Donato’s remarkable performance was undeniable as he claimed the top spot in both the Men’s II1 2000m and 1000m races, solidifying his status as a formidable force in indoor rowing.

Marta Casetta’s (ITA) double-medal triumph exemplified her versatility and endurance, securing gold in the Women’s II2 2000m and adding a silver in the fiercely contested 1000m event.

Margherita Merlo (ITA) left spectators in awe with her exceptional rowing abilities, capturing gold in the Women’s II2 1000m race and demonstrating her endurance with a silver in the challenging 2000m competition.

Skiing: Giant Slalom

The slopes of Zakopane, Poland, witnessed remarkable feats of athleticism as skiers from across the globe showcased their skiing skills in the Giant Slalom (GS) event at the Virtus World and European Skiing Championship happening as a part of the Virtus European Winter Games.

Skiiers in action at Zakopane 2024. Photo Credit: Sprawni-Razem

Mélanie De Bona (FRA) clinched the top spot with an impressive combined time of 1:41.54, claiming the second gold medal from the championship. Amilia Selznick (USA) followed closely behind, securing the silver medal (1:42.70) and Eva-Maria Dünser (AUS) rounded off the podium, claiming the bronze medal (1:46.26).

In the II1 Men’s category, phenomenal French dominator Thomas Girard leading the charge. Girard’s stellar performance earned him the gold medal (1:34.93), showcasing remarkable speed and technique. His compatriot, Antoine Maure, secured the silver medal (1:37.77), while Christian Öllinger (AUS) settled for the bronze medal (1:41.02).

Anna-Sophie Friedl (AUS) delivered a stunning performance in the II2 Women’s category, clinching another gold medal (1:55.69). Stephanie Schlömmer (AUS), secured the silver medal with a time of (2:06.60), demonstrating admirable resilience on the slopes. Bea-Anna Westerstrahle of Finland showcased determination, earning the bronze medal despite facing challenges on the course.

Antoni Wiercioch from Poland emerged victorious in the II2 Men’s category, claiming the gold medal with a time of 1:50.99. Michael Konrad of Austria secured the silver medal with a time of 1:55.99, while Markus Grameiser, also from Austria, claimed the bronze medal with a time of 1:56.88.

Aleksandra Andrejko (POL) striked hatrick by winning her third gold from the championship in II3 Women’s category. With a time of 1:43.47, Aleksandra defeated Aliye Zeynep Bingül (TUR) and Whitehouse Elizabeth (USA).

In the II3 Men’s category, Axel Bringdal (FRA) claimed his second championship title with a time of 1:34.21, displaying remarkable speed and agility on the slopes. Ange Cazorla (FRA) and Palmer Lyons (USA) secured silver and bronze for themselves.


Athletes in action in Portugal vs France match at Zakopane 2024. Photo Credit: Sprawni-Razem

The semifinal games are scheduled between Poland and Portugal, as well as France-I and France-II. It will be intriguing to observe whether Portugal, champions of the European championship for two consecutive years, can secure a third consecutive championship title, or if another team will emerge victorious.


Athletes in action in Portugal vs Spain at Zakopane 2024. Photo Credit: Sprawni-Razem

Poland and Spain are set to compete for the bronze medal position, while the final showdown promises excitement as perennial rivals Portugal, reigning Virtus Global Games Champions, and France, runners-up in GG2023, prepare to clash once more.

Champions from Zakopane 2024 aspires to compete at the Winter Paralympic Games, urges IPC for inclusion

The second day of the inaugural Virtus European Winter Games in Zakopane ushered in a frosty morning, with temperatures plunging below -3 degrees. Amidst the chill, athletes at the Skiing World and European Championship and European Rowing Championship embraced the chance for victory.

As the Slalom events unfolded, reigning champions defended their titles with aplomb, while fresh talent emerged victorious, ushering in a new era of champions. Amidst these triumphs, athletes seized the moment to advocate for the inclusion of skiing events in the forthcoming Winter Paralympic Games, underscoring the importance of representation and opportunity for all athletes on the global stage

Eva-Maria Dünser from Austria soared to victory in the Slalom event, clocking an impressive time of 42.47 seconds. Reflecting on her aspirations for Paralympic participation, Eva-Maria shared her heartfelt dream, stating,

My biggest dream is that my team and I can compete at the Paralympic winter games…everyone has the ability to ski. You just have to believe in yourself.”

Mélanie De Bona, who clinched gold in Super-G and silver in Slalom, echoed these sentiments, expressing hope for Paralympic inclusion, remarking,

 “I hope that my gold medal helps me to open the doors to the Paralympics…it would be incredible!

Thomas Girard from France, adding to his accolades with one gold and one silver at the Virtus Skiing World Championship, reflected on his recent victories, saying,

“I feel very good after winning one gold and one silver at the Virtus European Winter Games, it helped me regain my confidence like last season. I also regained the title of World Champion today which I was already titled 5 years ago. So, it’s really good and I am going to celebrate my victory with friends and all the staff. I hope we, the skiers, are included into the Paralympic Games soon.”

In a bold move to expand opportunities for athletes with intellectual impairments, Virtus submitted a bid for 2030 Winter Paralympics expansion , urging the IPC and FIS to end long-standing exclusion. Committed to inclusivity, Virtus remains steadfast in its mission to provide avenues for athletes to shine on the global stage.

Virtus member nation delagates meets with Virtus governing board to support the Winter Paralympics #reinclusion campaign at Zakopane 2024.

At Zakopane, the 11 nations competing were also able to meet and discuss the commitment and strategy required for the growth of skiing, and the reinclusion in to the Winter Paralympic Games.

Leading the re-inclusion voice on behalf of Virtus Sport, President Marc Truffaut said,

“We believe that even if you have a disability, you can be an elite athlete and that’s why we are fighting for the re-inclusion of II athletes in the Paralympic movement.”

“It’s the beginning of a new area where Virtus is going to build a strong program in Alpine and Nordic ski to convince the international body, the International Paralympic Committee, we want to convince them and show them that athletes with an intellectual impairment are excellent and they represent the universality of the Paralympic movement.”