May 16, 2014  Düsseldorf

Henkel helper team gets ready to go

Countdown for Special Olympics

The inaugurating ceremony of Germany’s “Special Olympics Deutschland” and the subsequent torch relay through downtown Berlin delighted over 150 participants and guests attending. Following its first leg in the German capital, the flame symbolizing the spirit of the Special Olympics will gradually make its way to the Games venue, Düsseldorf. And in the meantime, the Henkel helper team is getting ready. Numbering 56, the company’s employees will be supporting the athletes in various ways during the competition.

Dennis Mellentin, Athletensprecher von SOD Berlin/Brandenburg, SOD-Schirmherrin Daniela Schadt und SOD-Präsident Gernot Mittler (von links) entzündeten die Fackel vor dem Schloss Bellevue.

Dennis Mellentin, an Athletes’ Spokesman from SOD Berlin/Brandenburg, SOD Patron Daniela Schadt and SOD President Gernot Mittler (from left to right) ignited the torch in front of Schloss Bellevue.

Die Läufer gingen nach dem Startschuss vor dem Schloss Bellevue auf die Strecke durch die Berliner Innenstadt. Vorne weg lief als Fackelträgerin Sportpatin Britta Steffen.

Once given the start, the runners made their way from Schloss Bellevue through downtown Berlin, led by Sport Ambassador and former Olympic swimmer Britta Steffen as the first bearer of the Olympic Flame.

Fackelträger Timo Klaus (links) und Bernd Bichel (rechts) von der Stiftung Drachensee

As fellow torch bearers, Timo Klaus (left) and Bernd Bichel (right) of the charity Stiftung Drachensee had a lot of fun with Britta Steffen (front left) and the other runners as they carried the Olympic Flame through Berlin.

Auf dem Pariser Platz fand eine Fackelübergabe zusammen mit dem Regierenden Bürgermeister Klaus Wowereit statt.

Once the runners had arrived at Pariser Platz, the torch was handed over to Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit as part of the Berlin Europafestival celebrations

Last week saw the flame of the Special Olympics Deutschland (SOD) ceremoniously lit at its Schloss Bellevue starting point in the German capital, Berlin. The traditional torch relay marks the countdown to the integrative games, which are scheduled to take place in Düsseldorf from May 19 through May 23, 2014. “On its symbolic journey to Düsseldorf, the flame will be passing through many towns and cities,” says Daniela Schadt, Patron of Special Olympics Deutschland. “The torch relay greatly helps us in raising public awareness and support for sport involving people with intellectual disabilities and for these National Games in particular. By the start of the Special Olympics, a total of 15 torch relays will have taken place in various federal states before the Olympic Flame is ignited in the Düsseldorf ISS Dome on the evening of May 19, 2014.

During the Special Olympics, a volunteer team of 56 Henkel employees will be helping to look after the athletes – doing things such as timing races and measuring jumps, dispensing drinks and performing various organizational tasks. “I think it’s great that Henkel has given us the opportunity to enjoy such a valuable experience in supporting this important event,” says team member Jürgen Haider, a chemical technician with Adhesive Technologies.

The Special Olympics is the world’s biggest sporting movement for people with intellectual disabilities and the multiple handicapped. The May spectacular will see 4,800 athletes competing in 18 sports disciplines in Düsseldorf, with a fantastic number of volunteers, officials, friends and family members helping and cheering them on. The total number of participants expected to attend exceeds 14,000. Henkel is supporting the event not only through the volunteering activities of its helper employees during the Games, but also through financial sponsorship of the Special Olympics Deutschland organization.

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