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Special Olympics

Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017 on ESPN2: Friday, March 24

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  • Lindsay Czarniak and Kevin Neghandhi Host Nightly Coverage at 6 p.m. ET
  • Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017 – Best of the Games airs Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m. ET on ABC
  • ESPN.com coverage continues with powerful stories
  • ESPN Images photographers capturing the World Winter Games

ESPN’s global coverage of the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, the largest sporting and humanitarian event in 2017, began with live coverage of the Games’ Opening Ceremony on Saturday, March 18.

Coverage continues each night this week at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 with Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017. Hosted by ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak and Kevin Neghandhi, the program originates on site in Austria and includes interviews, features, special guests, a daily “competition showcase” segment and contributions from ESPN’s Jen Lada, Victoria Arlen and Marty Smith, as well as ESPN contributor and Special Olympics Global Messenger, Dustin Plunkett.

On tonight’s show:

  • Chris Hassel and Paul Wylie cover figure skating competition including athletes Ian Rawn and Sharita Taylor; and speed skating including athlete Mina Baghat
  • An inside look on the Syrian national team
  • Marty Smith reveals why cross country skier Joe Kaczynski was born to run
  • Costa Rican snowshoer Kenneth Meneses Ramirez in his quest for the medal in the 4×100 snowshoe race

ICYMI: For those that missed Thursday’s show, highlights included:

  • Marty Smith remembers Special Olympics World Games LA 2015 athlete Olivia Quigley. Watch
  • Costa Rican snowshoer Kenneth Meneses Ramirez receives the surprise of his life when his coach presented him with replicas of medals he lost in his family’s house fire. Watch

ESPN DIGITAL FEATURES & COVERAGE
ESPN’s global digital platforms – the world’s leading portfolio of digital sports properties in the world, including local editions of ESPN.com and the ESPN App, streaming platforms and more – is offering extensive coverage  throughout the World Winter Games.

Among the highlighted coverage today is:

  • “Best of” Austria 2017 photo gallery (including Closing Ceremony) – don’t miss the highlights from the best moments in Austria
  • The Will and Determination of India’s Shikha Rani – When Shikha Rani was born, people told her parents not to waste their lives caring for her, but they didn’t listen. Now the ice skater is doing what most in her village could never accomplish. View
  • Seeing Double at the World Winter Games – For many athletes, competing in the Special Olympics World Winter Games meant traveling far from home – and family. These competitors arrived in Austria with built-in support: their twin. View
  • Chris Paynter Saw a Few of His Favorite Things in Austria – Athlete Chris Paynter shares his photo gallery highlighting his trip to Salzburg, the setting of his favorite film “The Sound of Music.” View

PHOTOGRAPHIC COVERAGE

ESPN Images is capturing photos from around the Special Olympics World Games throughout the week, including the below. The full collection of ESPN Images photos from the event, available for use, can be found here: http://bit.ly/2nze2to

Schladming, Styria - March 23, 2017: Alpine Skiing during the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games (Photo by Kohjiro Kinno / ESPN Images) Ramsau, Styria - March 23, 2017: Jose F Dominguez of Costa Rica competing in Snowshoeing during the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games (Photo by Tristan Shu / ESPN Images) Ramsau, Styria - March 23, 2017: Jose F Dominguez, Kenneth J Meneses, Yitzy Alvarez and Jimena Araya of Costa Rica competing in Snowshoeing during the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games (Photo by Tristan Shu / ESPN Images)
Ramsau, Styria - March 23, 2017: Sara Grassi of Italy competing in Snowshoeing during the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games (Photo by Tristan Shu / ESPN Images) Schladming, Styria - March 23, 2017: Lindsey Czarniak and Kevin Negandhi on the set of the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games (Photo by Kohjiro Kinno / ESPN Images) Schladming, Styria - March 23, 2017: Sanna Sepponen of Finland during the medal ceremony for Alpine Skiing at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games (Photo by Kohjiro Kinno / ESPN Images)


U.S. TV SCHEDULE:  Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria

Day/Date Program Time (ET) Network
Fri, Mar 24 Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 6-7pm ESPN2
Sun, Mar 26 Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 – Best of the Games 2-3pm ABC

NOTE:   All shows will also be simulcast on the ESPN App and WatchESPN

ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS WORLD WINTER GAMES AUSTRIA 2017
Every two years, Special Olympics holds its flagship event, the World Games, demonstrating sports excellence, which promotes equality, respect and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities around the world. Transcending the boundaries of geography, nationality, political philosophy, gender, age, culture and religion, the world will come together to celebrate inclusion around the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Graz, Schladming-Rohrmoos and Ramsau, Austria 14 March – 25 March 2017. More than 2,700 athletes and 1,000 coaches representing 107 countries, along with 10,000 volunteers and thousands more spectators, will participate in and watch exciting sports and community events. This is the second time Austria has hosted the World Winter Games, having also staged the event in 1993. Sports featured are Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Speed Skating, Floor Hockey, Floorball, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, and Stick Shooting. For more information on the 2017 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.austria2017.org and on social on Facebook, and Twitter.

ESPN AND SPECIAL OLYMPICS
ESPN is proud of its relationship with Special Olympics, which spans more than 31 years and over the past three years, ESPN has continued to deepen its relationship with the Special Olympics movement.

Earlier this year, ESPN and Special Olympics committed to continuing their alliance to use the power of sports to promote social inclusion and acceptance by reaching two agreements:  an extension, and expansion, of ESPN’s Global Presenting Sponsorship of Special Olympics Unified Sports® and a new, three-year global programming agreement.

The new $1.5 million grant supports Special Olympics Unified Sports, as well as other initiatives, and extends and expands a role ESPN has held since 2013. Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Special Olympics Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. With support from ESPN and others, Special Olympics has grown this innovative and inclusive program to more than 1.2 million participants. As part of the continued support of Unified Sports, ESPN will invest in Special Olympics’ goal to build Unified Sports programming and resources in 10,000 schools by 2020 and ensuring 100,000 coaches receive new/renewed sports certifications by 2020.

ESPN’s global Special Olympics programming agreement means ESPN is not only an Official Broadcaster of the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, but also the Official Broadcaster of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, and the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. ESPN is also adding more news and feature coverage of other Special Olympics events, athletes and stories over the course of the three-year agreement

ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplifts the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use the power of sport to positively address society’s most pressing needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to www.espn.com/citizenship 

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