The Emil Open Summer Youth Games for the Disabled are being held for the ninth year. I am pleased that participants can once again enjoy the atmosphere of real international competition at such a high level. Young people not just from the Czech Republic but from all over Europe will take part. Therefore, I greatly thank everyone who organised and contributed to the games. It can be said that they provide the disabled with a chance and motivation. I have participated several times as a spectator in similar events and I must say that the opposite is the case. Disabled athletes can set an example to others in the way they confront their destiny. Their sports feats are literally unbelievable and can be an inspiration to everyone. For people with a different type of disability of whom, according to the information available, there are about one million in the Czech Republic alone, they can be an example in the sense of showing that you certainly don’t have to give up and that it is possible to live a fulfilled life and achieve a lot even with a disability. Their feats should also demonstrate a challenge to the rest of us. How many times do we complain and look for excuses for why we fail. But we have no objective obstacles for this, which is something that we should appreciate. We should exploit our potential to a maximum, just as the participants of these games are doing.
This year’s games were delayed due to measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of June, they are being held now when the situation so allows although with many restrictions. But I hope that this does not take away from the participation in and attractiveness of the individual competitions.
Lastly, I want to stress that the summer youth games for the disabled are not just about sports results. They are also about coming together, making new friendships, creating incentives, sharing our joys and concerns. Fortunately, the times have gone when the disabled were excluded from society. In the last 30 years, a lot has been done so they can live a full life. I hope, thanks to the exchange of experience at these games, they will also inspire us, the politicians, who can do something to push the limits of possibilities even further.
Dear participants and organisers of the ninth year of the Emil Open Summer Youth Games for the Disabled, I wish you a wonderful atmosphere for the competitions and that everything goes well. Lots of luck to you all!
Jaroslava Pokorná Jermanová
Governor of the Central Bohemia Region