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Special Olympics African Hope 2001. (SOI).

Arnold Schwarzenegger led a delegation of states men, Special Olympics leadership, and athletes to South Africa for Special Olympics African Hope 2001, a series of events held from July 12-14 in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Sun City. Special Olympics African Hope 2001 launched Special Olympics' major growth campaign to reach 100,000 new athletes with mental retardation throughout Africa by the year 2005. It has been estimated by the World Health Organization that there are 6 million individuals in Africa with mental retardation, and Special Olympics currently only serves 25,000 athletes on that continent. Special Olympics African Hope 2001 generated awareness of the Special Olympics movement throughout Africa. Some of the highlights of the week--

* Archbishop Desmond Tutu blessed the Special Olympics African Hope 2001 initiative, as well as all the athletes of the Special Olympics movement during a visit at Woodside Sanctuary, a center for individuals with profound intellectual disabilities. Tutu, along with Special Olympics South Africa coach Elizabeth Jordaan and Special Olympics South Africa athlete Danielle September, lit the miner's lamp for the Special Olympics Flame of Hope and then enjoyed some colorful sports motor activities.

* The Special Olympics Torch Lighting Ceremony was held on Robben Island where Former President Nelson Mandela, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Special Olympics South Africa athletes Danielle September and Ephrahim Mohlakane, and Special Olympics USA athletes Loretta Claiborne and Ricardo Thornton lit the Special Olympics Flame of Hope, symbolizing the future of the Special Olympics movement.

* The Special Olympics Flame of Hope was carried by ferry to Cape Town where 1,000 South African law enforcement officers awaited its arrival. South Africa Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi, along with Special Olympics athlete Walter Mokoe, and South Africa police officer Andrew Kelehe received the torch and then led a Torch Run through the streets of Cape Town to the steps of Parliament. Schwarzenegger was then passed the torch to light the cauldron with Special Olympics athletes, where it burned throughout the days of the Special Olympics African Hope 2001 event.

* A film screening of the Schwarzenegger movie Eraser was held at Montecasino Cinema in Johannesburg. Thousands came to watch the powerlifting demonstration with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Special Olympics South Africa athletes.

* The Special Olympics delegation visited the Takalani Center for individuals with mental disabilities in Soweto, South Africa. The delegation toured the Center and spent the afternoon with the residents. Special Olympics athlete Loretta Claiborne delivered a stirring inspirational speech that was the highlight of their program.

* At Special Olympics Sports Day, 200 Special Olympics athletes from all over South Africa participated in soccer competitions. A Special Olympics Healthy Athletes demonstration was featured during Special Olympics Sports Day, consisting of hearing, vision, and oral health screenings for athletes.

* A Golf Tournament fundraiser was held in Sun City, where golfers played 18 holes on the Gary Player golf course. Two Special Olympics South Africa athletes participated in the tournament.

* Hundreds came out to show support at a rural film screening of the Schwarzenegger film Kindergarten Cop in the small town of Ledig, where portable screens were set up in a field for all to enjoy the film.

* SOI convened a groundbreaking health consultation three-day meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 12-14, as part of the African Hope-2001 program. Delegates from the Special Olympics Programs that constitute the Special Olympics Africa Initiative met with health leaders from inside and outside Africa. Countries involved in the Africa Initiative include Burkina Faso, Gabon, Chad, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo, Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauntius, and South Africa. The result was the beginning of a first-ever continent-wide health initiative.

Visit the Special Olympics African Hope 2001 Photo Gallery at
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Title Annotation:event highlights
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Sep 22, 2001
Previous Article:Soccer update. (NDSA).
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