AirAsia Flies Team Malaysia to the 10th Special Olympics World Winter Games 2013The World’s Best Low Cost Carrier AirAsia is proud to sponsor the participation of the Malaysian floor hockey team in the 10th Special Olympics World Winter Games taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, from 29 January to 5 February, 2013.
The 19-member delegation comprising 13 athletes, 4 coaches, a Head of Delegation and a member of the media arrived in Sepang from Miri and Kuching before departing together for South Korea. The team travelled on a fully sponsored AirAsia flight from Kuching and Miri to Kuala Lumpur while they were provided special discounted fares by AirAsia X for their return trip between Kuala Lumpur and South Korea.
The team poses for a photo at the LCC Terminal in Sepang before departing on their AirAsia X flight to Incheon, South Korea.
AirAsia Foundation Head, Yap Mun Ching said, “It is a privilege for us to be able to support the team as this is only the second time that Malaysia has sent a delegation to participate in the Winter Special Olympic Games. We are especially proud of these athletes as they have all overcome personal challenges to make it to this stage of competition.”
The athletes, aged between 16 and 35, will participate in the Games’ Opening Ceremony on 29 January 2013, before taking on their first floor hockey match the following day. Head of Delegation Maria Isabel Navarro, who is also the Chairperson of the Special Olympics Sarawak – Miri Chapter, said the sport was first introduced in Miri in 2005 before expanding to Kuching.
“The first time we participated in floor hockey in the 2009 Winter Special Olympics in Idaho in the United States, Malaysia won a silver medal. We hope the team will bring back a gold medal this time,” said Navarro.
The Pyeongchang Games will be one of the largest winter multi-sports events to be held in Korea with over 15,000 participants from 113 countries. Eight winter sports will be held, namely alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, floor ball, floor hockey, short track speed skating, snowboarding and showshoeing.
Founded in the 1950s by Eunice Kennedy Shriver as a summer camp for young people with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics is now the world’s largest sports organisation for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The Games alternates every two years between a Summer Special Olympics and a Winter Special Olympics.