This is an annual event in Olympia and Athens based on the philosophy of the Olympic Games. It is an inclusive and strongly cultural event; athletes with learning disability and athletes from mainstream schools take part. England sends a Delegation of up to four schools.
The Opening Ceremony takes place in the town square at Olympia. Athletes parade into the arena behind their flags and sit around the square. After brief speeches of welcome and the playing of the ISF anthem there is a demonstration of Greek dancing. Then all the participants are invited to join in the dancing and the whole square is filled with music and dance.
We either stay at the International Olympic Academy or we visit it and play inclusive sport there. We have seminars at the IOA and other venues when athletes from around the world showcase their sports. Last time our athletes taught everybody Bocca, Kinball and Ultimate Frisbee. They loved it.
We visit the ancient stadium and see the rock where the Olympic flame is lit. After a brief tour of the ancient site we enter the ancient stadium through the players tunnel and run a race in the stadium. The ancient finish line is still there! All participants are rewarded with a wreath of olive branches – the original gold medals.
We then make our way to Athens to see the Parthenon and to tour the Panathenaic Stadium, the place where the modern Olympic Games started. Here in 2016 we were present at the magnificent ceremony where the Olympic torch for Rio was handed to representatives from Brazil. Unfortunately the event was cancelled in 2020, otherwise we would have been present when the flame was handed to Tokyo.
All the sport is inclusive. Teams are made up of athletes from different countries who all work together and become friends. This friendship is enhanced in the Nations Evening when each Delegation showcases its food and culture and represents its country in music and dance.
This event is the very best combination of education and sport. It is not for elite athletes, rather for sports leaders and others enjoy playing sport and working in teams. Recruitment is directly via the NCSS.