Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

Supporting our Olympians in Athens

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, will today leave for Athens to join the largest ever Australian contingent of athletes, coaches and volunteers at the 13th Special Olympics World Summer Games.

“I am very proud to be supporting our athletes and look forward to cheering them on at what is one of the biggest international sporting events this year,” Senator McLucas said.

“I wish them the very best of luck for this amazing occasion that they’ve trained so hard to reach.”

“Our team reflects the breadth of our talent, with our eldest competitor aged 58 and our youngest just 16 years old.”

“Our athletes are proving on the world stage that disability is no barrier to achieving.”

The 131-member Australian team, along with 40 team officials, will take part in the competition from 25 June to 4 July, joining 7500 athletes from 185 countries.

The Special Olympics World Summer Games are an opportunity for people with intellectual disability to overcome prejudice and stereotypes and showcase their remarkable athletic abilities.

During the Games, Senator McLucas will also be attending the Global Research and Policy Symposium on Intellectual Disability which brings together international researchers, students and policy makers in the fields of intellectual disability, education and health.

In addition, Senator McLucas will participate in a number of bilateral meetings to discuss Australia’s National Disability Strategy, disability insurance schemes and workforce participation measures.

The Gillard Government is committed to increasing participation in Special Olympic sports, recently announcing an additional $100,000 to the Special Olympics in ongoing annual funding.

The additional funding brings the support the Gillard Government provides to the Special Olympics to over $500,000 a year.

“I encourage all Australians to get behind our Aussie competitors who serve as an inspiration to us all,” Senator McLucas said.

To follow the progress of our athletes or send them a herogram visit: