MOSCOW, December 5 (R-Sport) – It's hosted the Summer Olympics, is soon to stage the Winter Olympics, and next up for Russia could be the Special Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, referring to the multisports event for people with intellectual disabilities.
The Special Olympics World Games are an international competition that has been staged every two years since 1968, mostly in the United States. The closest they have been to Russia is Austria in 1993.
“Of course, the Special Olympic Games may be organized in Russia,” Putin said, speaking at his All-Russian People's Front support group. “We have everything necessary for that. And we will discuss it with my colleagues who are dealing with it at the international level.”
In March, Russia will host its first Paralympic Games, held for people with physical handicaps, a month after the Winter Olympics will be hosted in Sochi.
One of Putin's pet projects in his third term as president is to restore the country's sporting might, which was lost with the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The next Special Olympics that Russia could bid for is 2021, with the next edition set for Los Angeles in 2015; then Austria in 2017. The bidding process is closed for 2019, with Australia, Germany and South Africa gunning for the event.
Russia staged the Summer Games in Moscow in 1980.