One month until the opening ceremony of the 2015 World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games

logo ecuador 2015_220th of August marks one month to go until the opening ceremony of the 2015 Ecuador World Intellectual Impairment Sport Global Games – the world’s largest elite sporting event for athletes with an intellectual disability.

Registration for the Games closed on the 31st of July with 35 countries confirming their participation in this pinnacle event of the World Intellectual Impairment Sport calendar.

These include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Japan, Macau, Mauritius, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, USA and Venezuela.

The event features top-level competition in nine sports (athletics, basketball, cycling, futsal, swimming, rowing, table tennis, tennis and taekwondo) and will take place from the 20th to the 27th of September in Quito, Ecuador. Around 700 athletes are expected to compete.

The opening ceremony will take place on Sunday 20th of September and aims to get people from all ages to get involved and make of this gathering a sport celebration that will be held for the first time in a South American country.

Hartmut Freund (Germany) is one of the athletes who has qualified for the Games. He is Germany’s sole participant to the event, and is national Table Tennis champion in the Class 11 (intellectual disability). “Table tennis is his life and the Global Games is a great adventure for him” says guardian and coach Norbert Freund. “Due to no financial support he is largely dependent on sponsors, family and his idol – German table tennis star Dimitrij Ovtcharov – who has kindly supported his international competitions”.

Planning for the Games has been hampered in recent days by activity at the Cotopaxi Volcano – located around 35 miles to the south of Quito – and whilst World Intellectual Impairment Sport has confirmed that it expects the event to go ahead as planned, an announcement will be made in the coming days regarding athletics and table table which were due to be held in the town of Latacunga, located close to the volcano.

World Intellectual Impairment Sport President, Amaury Russo, is looking ahead to the Games. “Despite the complications of the past few days, I believe we can look forward to an exceptional event in Quito next month, and it will be an exciting preview to some of those athletes seeing qualification to the Rio Paralympics just a year from now.