Brno is becoming the sport center of disabled Youth these days. European Youth Games for the Disabled “Emil Open” are starting on Wednesday. The Moravia metropolis will welcome altogether 714 participants, of which are 449 amaterous and profesional athletes and 265 team members from 16 countries.
One of the event stars will be the Paralympic swimming Champion and world record holder Arnost Petracek. “Sport has taught me many things, not only in a sport life but also in my private life,” says Petracek. “Thanks to the sport I have made many friends, who are supporting me and I would not be able to live without their support,” adds. Even though he is expecting a busy schedule including World Championships in Mexico, he wouldn't miss Emil Open.
Another athlete, who will compete at Emil Open in June is Katerina Novakova. Her goal is to attack her own personal best in shot put. “Together with the World Championships is Emil Open one of the biggest events of this year,” says Novakova.
Organizers have managed several challenges during preparation.
Accommodation and meals for all registered athletes were successfully prepared thanks to a cooperation with universities in Brno. There will be in total 318 rooms available, including barrier - free access to rooms for wheelchair users. Special meals and individual requests from athletes are also prepared. Cooperation with Czech Railways is confirmed as well. Emil Open participants will receive 445 unique codes of Czech Railways to buy free travel tickets. There are also 140 volunteers, who are taking care of a smooth running of the games. Organizers can count on people not only from Czech Republic, but also on students from program Erasmus.
“Event such as Emil Open allows disabled children to compete, do sport and also meet with children and young people, who are in the same life position. Along the sport part, games are also bringing the social aspect. We are showing to public that the disabled people can do sport, can rejoice in winning, suffer losses and live fully as the others,” explains Jana Prochadykova, Emil foundation director, which organizes European Youth Games for the Disabled for the sixth time.
Accompanying program: Concerts, competitions and sports to try
Within European Youth Games for the Disabled there won't be missed a various accompanying program. Visitors will be able to see a concert of The Tap Tap group, actors` performances from Brno City Theater, or visiting the Brno Observatory and Brno Zoo. One of the most exciting event will be “The rappelling down” from Hotel Voronez by wheelchair users, happening on Friday June 9th from 11 a.m.
Another attraction of the Games will be participation of the Emil Open 2017 ambassadors, who are the actor and moderator, Jan Kraus and the Paralympic winner and World Champion, Jiri Jezek. There will be a Show of Jan Kraus part of the opening ceremony, who is bringing his famous red couch on a stage at the Svoboda square. Hosts` names, who will be part of the show at 18 o'clock on Wednesday June 7th, are still unknown.
On Thursday, June 8th there will be a program called TOP SPEED on Svoboda Square with Jirka Jezek. Visitors will be able to compare their speed average in 300m distance not only with the six time Paralympic gold medalist, but also with top indoor cyclists from Brno. ”A lot of people, who came to stadiums and cheered up the Young disabled athletes told me, they left home with huge energy they gained from competing athletes,” says Jiri Jezek.
“Thanks to this event, the general public may realize that disability is not necessary an insurmountable handicap. Handicap is our stereotypical thinking. Right this myth is trying to be rebuilt by the 6th European Youth Games for the Disabled,” said jan Bartosek, vice-chairman of Czech Government.
“I am very glad that European Youth Games for the Disabled are regularly taking part in Moravia and its metropoly Brno. I believe that athletes and their teams will feel here like at home. I would like to underline the fact that this project won`t bring us only athletes` results but also many strong human stories, which could be an inspiration not just for athletes but for each of us. Stories of strong will, tenacity and overcoming oneself. For all of that I would like to say thank you and I am looking forward to live the atmosphere of the Games in Brno,” said Bohumil Šimek Governor of the South Moravian Region.
“European Youth Games for the Disabled Emil Open are prestige international event. For city of Brno it is a honor to be hosting it. Athletes will compare their strength with each other as sportsmen who have been able to deal with their disability and they inspire us. I am very happy to meet them and I am looking forward to see their performances,” added Petr Vokral - Mayor of Brno. Besides the city of Brno itself, the Brno-stred city district, the Brno City Company and the contributory organizations joined the Emil Open support.