2023, Berlin / Germany,
The Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 were the world’s largest inclusive sporting event of the year, with over 7,000 athletes with intellectual and multiple disabilities competing in 26 sports.
Sporting ambition meets voluntary social commitment
Around 18,000 volunteers from 126 countries supported the world’s largest inclusive sporting event. Among them: an international Henkel team of around 70 people who were on duty during the games. Together, they ensured that everything ran smoothly in the bocce hall. Our volunteers had a variety of tasks.
Tobias Segler, Henkel Germany, experienced the games up close on the court: “It was important to always follow the moves directly and, for example, to hold up the correct flag or maintain eye contact with the referees while working on the PC to record the results quickly. Everyone was very understanding and patient, by the way.”
A mission with lots of emotions
Andreas Rosskopf, Henkel Austria, welcomed the athletes in the entrance area and accompanied them to the waiting area: “Here and there I gave a few words of encouragement when I noticed that one of the players was getting nervous. Or I simply held their hand,” reports Rosskopf. Melissa Jacobs, Henkel North America, had a similarly emotional experience: “During the games, at the court, I started to share the players’ excitement after just a few seconds, and I grew particularly fond of one athlete and felt really sorry for her when she lost the decisive game. But after a few tears, she was already smiling again and happy about her silver medal.”