The Zurich Regional Games were held in the Letzigrund stadium on Saturday, 13 May 2017. On this day, the stadium belonged to the Special Olympics athletes alone. There were also a lot volunteers lending a helping hand, including 20 Helsana employees.
On Saturday morning the Zurich Letzigrund stadium for once didn't open its doors for football players, rock stars or top athletes, but for the stars of the Special Olympics.
The first athletes already arrived at the stadium with their coaches in good form before eight o'clock in the morning to get ready for the events that would soon get under way. The games started at precisely nine o'clock after divisioning – which involves splitting the athletes into fair performance groups. Around 200 athletes gave their best in the four disciplines light athletics, table tennis, boccia and petanque.
March-in with the Special Olympics flag
The highlight of the day was the athletes marching in at one o'clock in the afternoon with the Special Olympics flag, which was solemnly hoisted while the Special Olympics hymn was played.
But there were a lot of other wonderful and exciting events on this day, for example the presentation ceremonies with the proud athletes, or the Feel Athletics fun games held the first time this year.
Feel Athletics involves teams of four or four family members, with each member completing one of the four disciplines sprint, long jump, throwing or 1,000-metre race. The team then competes together in the 4 x100-metre relay race.
An impressive day for all involved
Apart from the competition events, there were a lot of other fun activities. Visitors and athletes were able to test their dexterity and skills on the play and activity course, for example with oversized tennis racquets, on a bike course, in reaction games and a lot more.
During the day a large number of volunteers, including 20 Helsana employees, got involved to make sure that everything went smoothly and that the Regional Games were an unforgettable and impressive experience with many exiting encounters and a great deal of fun for everyone.