Special Olympics 2008
Saturday, Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise opened the Holmenkollen Special Olympics 2008. Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organisation for people with intellectual disabilities.
The games took place at the Holmenkollen sports arena on February 23 - 24. Princess Märtha Louise and the Mayor of Oslo, Mr Fabian Stang, both attended the first day of the Games.
The Special Olympics movement aims to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. More than two million athletes from more than 160 countries compete in 30 disciplines, locally, nationally and internationally.
There are two traditional Special Olympics events in Norway: Bislett Special Olympics (athletics) and Holmenkollen Special Olympics (cross-country skiing).
Princess Märtha Louise is patron of Special Olympics Norway.
Every two years, the Special Olympics World Games are held, alternating between summer and winter games. The World Games 2007 were held in Shanghai, China. The Norwegian team consisted of 14 athletes competing in Judo, bocca, rhythmic gymnastics and football. The 2009 games will comprise winter games, and are to be held in Boise, USA.
The Special Olympics were founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of US President John F. Kennedy.
Condolences from His Majesty King Harald to His Holiness Pope Francis.
Congratulations from His Majesty King Harald to the new President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, His Excellency Mr Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.