Participants reflected on their time at the 2023 Berlin World Games. SPECIAL OLYMPICS

As the Special Olympics movement marks the one-year anniversary of the 2023 World Games in Berlin, athletes from across Europe shared their experiences of the Games through compelling videos. These clips highlighted athletes from Germany, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, and Ireland.

The Berlin Games, held from 17-25 June 2023, was the world's largest inclusive sports event, featuring over 6,500 Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities from 178 delegations competing in the German capital for the first time in the movement’s history. One year later, five athletes have reflected on their experiences in a series that highlights the transformative impact of the Games.

This series features Special Olympics Great Britain’s football player Bradley Stuart, German track and field athlete Tamara Roske, Italian swimmer Anita Greco, Irish golfing twins Trudy and Sarah Hyland, and Spain’s basketball player Andrea Ballesta Castelltort. They share how the Games have influenced their lives, families, and communities.

"I want to show everyone what I can do," Roske, a model, actress, clarinet player, and talented track and field athlete with Special Olympics Germany from Stuttgart said. Bradley also reflected on his time at the Games.

Athletes reflected on their time at the 2023 World Games in Berlin. SPECIAL OLYMPICS
Athletes reflected on their time at the 2023 World Games in Berlin. SPECIAL OLYMPICS

"If I never started playing football, I don't think I would ever be who I am today," Bradley, who secured a bronze medal, claimed. "I think I’d be in my room and not really doing anything. If I didn’t go (to the World Games), I don’t think I’d have ever got a job.”

Meanwhile, Anita expressed her gratitude after competing in the German capital, saying, “The most intense in her life since the moment she was born.” Her mother adds, “In Berlin she matured so much. She feels like she is able to do things on her own now."

Special Olympics golfing duo Sarah and Trudy Hyland returned to their hometown of Cobh, County Cork as celebrities after the Berlin Games, with hundreds of people lining the streets to welcome them back. “We couldn’t go the airport without journalists catching us," Sarah said.

Andrea, who lives in Barcelona, also reflected on her time at the Berlin Games. “I had a very special experience as a person and as a player," she said. "It was a very demanding competition too, highlighting the relationship with other countries and the climate of friendship in the Spanish National Team."

You can watch all the video interviews with the participants here.