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Mika Kohonen torchbearer in opening ceremony of Special Olympics day – 06.06.2012

The biggest Special Olympics event ever organised in Sweden took place on Tuesday June 5th in Stockholm with 300 young athletes with intellectual disability participating.

The World´s best floorball player, Mika Kohonen, and the IFF President, Mr. Tomas Eriksson, participated in the event and Kohonen was the torchbearer during the opening ceremony. 

- I am thrilled by the excited enthusiasm shown by the partcipating athletes at Special Olympics day in Stockholm, at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium, this actual month celebrating its 100th birthday, says Tomas Eriksson, IFF President.

The IFF signed the Special Olympics Proclamation for partnership during the IFF General Assembly in December in Switzerland and is now looking forward to a close cooperation with the Special Olympics family.

 – It is vital for future Floorball development that we enter as many multi sports program as possible, and hence good ParaFloorball development in many Floorball countries, and its collaboration between all stakeholders is vital, Mr. Eriksson continues.

Promoting equal opportunities

Mika Kohonen is the biggest star in the floorball world and together with his club Storvreta some important initiatives have been taken to promote the Special Olympics floorball.

- I am very delighted to be able to contribute to special Olympics, and it was an honor for me to be the chosen torch bearer at today´s event. I will through my Mika Kohonen Trophy, together with my club Storvreta, try to contribute even more in the future, and I´m looking forward to fruitful co-operation between Floorball and Special Olympics, says reigning world champion and team captain of Finland.

The right for everyone to do sports and play floorball is very important for Kohonen:

– I have always thought that all people are worth the same. I have a cousin who is sitting in a wheelchair and he loves sport, but has never had the same chances to participate, so therefore these things are even closer to my heart. I want to be promote everyone´s right to do sports, says Kohonen, who also thinks that floorball has great advantages of being a sport that can be played by all and many disabled players.

The IFF President, Mr. Eriksson, is also delighted about the initiatives taken by the floorball club Storvreta and hopes that more clubs in the world will follow this great example:

– The good initiative taken by Mika Kohonen in person, the Mika Kohonen Trophpy, and his club Storvreta IBK from Uppsala, is important for future development, and since Mika was chosen torchbearer, it shows Mika´s importance and that he is a well known athlete with high values.

Tomas Eriksson and Mika Kohonen together with the SO athletes Hassan Khalifa Mohammed Ali and Matilda Petersén from the St Eriks Gymansium.

Floorball in SO World Winter Games 2013

Floorball will for the first time be included in the Special Olympics (SO) World Winter Games, which will take place in January - February 2013 in Peyngchong and Gangneung, Korea.

– IFF is looking forward to future good co-operation in general, and in particular for the first time participation at the upcoming World Winter Games in Special Olympics in Korea, says Mr. Eriksson.

More information: www.specialolympics.se/stockholm2012 & IFF Special Olympics Floorball page.
Photos: Daniel Karlsson (SIBF)