The following is a guest post created out of Special Olympics International Board Member Nils Kastberg’s Opening Ceremony speech, as he officially opened the Special Olympics Sweden National Games in Gothenburg, on June, 2016.
Welcome to Gothenburg.
In our Lord´s garden there are many flowers.
Some grow on trees, others on the ground. Some grow on top of others, smothering them and taking their air, making it difficult for them to live and grow.
And then there are human flowers with all sorts of colours.
You – Special Olympics athletes are the human flowers of this world. You have a special ability to transmit happiness, spread joy, show genuine care for each other and give love without a hidden purpose. There are not many human flowers like you.
How wonderful it is to be amongst you in this arena to mark the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics Sweden National Games 2016.
I invite you to stand up and show Sweden the wonderful human flowers that you are in all your glory. Hug each other and wish your fellow athletes good luck.
You have come from all over Sweden to show the nation what you can do. You have trained hard and you understand and enjoy sport in ways that many have forgotten how to. You want to win, and while trying you help others to win also. You spread joy, happiness and sunshine. You melt hard hearts and you know how to express genuine feelings of love.
I want those who did not travel to Gothenburg this time to be here next time to witness what Special Olympics really means. Your joy is contagious. Your talent and skills are to be admired and your determination to be copied by all.
Next year I hope many of you will go to Austria to fly the Swedish flag brightly at the World Winter Games 2017 as you did at the Los Angeles World Summer Games in 2015.
I want you – the most fantastic human flowers to continue blowing the winds of change all over the world, shining with your sunny smiles reaching every corner of the globe where your precious, special brothers and sisters are mistreated. They need your joy and solidarity. The world needs more than ever the love, joy and happiness that you are so wonderfully skilled at spreading.
The Sports revolution has started. We are standing up to those who try to put you down.
Thank you and I now declare the Swedish Special Olympics National Games 2016 Open.