Jürgen Dusel, Federal Government Commissioner for the interests of people with disabilities, hopes that the Special Olympics World Games will draw more attention to the topic.
"I wish that people with learning disabilities would become more visible and that their participation in all areas of life would improve after the games," Dusel told the "Berliner Zeitung". There must also be more encounters.
"The organizers expect around 300,000 spectators to follow the competitions in Berlin," said the 58-year-old. In addition, the television stations have agreed to report extensively on the games. "A larger public will see what people with learning disabilities can achieve," said Dusel.
Largest multisport event since the 1972 Olympics
Berlin will host the Special Olympics World Games from June 17th to 25th. Around 7,000 athletes take part in the games for people with mental and multiple disabilities. This makes the World Games the largest multisport event in Germany since the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. Dusel himself speaks of people with learning disabilities. A specialist event showed "that the term 'mental disability' is no longer up-to-date because it is perceived as derogatory and creates hurdles." He takes this objection seriously.
"The special thing about the World Games is that the athletes go into the competitions with great empathy and mutual consideration," said Dusel. "They do their best but don't want to win at all costs. We can learn a lot from them as a society." The 58-year-old also hopes that prejudices, for example about the capabilities of disabled people, can be broken down.