The one-year-to-go countdown to the 2023 Virtus Global Games (GG2023) kicked off in Lyon, France on Friday, 3 June.
The Virtus Global Games is the signature event for athletes with intellectual impairments to compete in the highest level, international multi-sport elite competition. Held every four years, GG2023 will be the sixth edition of the Games in Virtus’ 35-year history.
The next Virtus Global Games will be held in Vichy, France from 4-10 June 2023.
About 1,100 athletes and officials from 60 nations are expected to take part in the Games, which will feature nine sport disciplines. There will also be about 400 volunteers to support the delivery of the competition.
Sandrine Chaix, vice-president of the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes Region in charge of social action and disability, congratulated the host committee.
“The Global Games are a fantastic opportunity for Vichy, our Region but also France to welcome on its territory high-level athletes with invisible disabilities," she said. "We want to (create) a great mobilisation of the public and regional actors so that these Games are an unforgettable moment for all."
Robyn Smith, vice-president of Virtus and CEO of Sport Inclusion Australia, noted that the Virtus Global Games are more than an elite competition, but also a way that Virtus can support athletes with intellectual impairments to demonstrate their courage, character, excellence, and integrity.
“It is especially exciting to know that Lorri, who was the first mascot for Global Games in Brisbane in 2019, will continue to be part of the Virtus Games legacy,” Smith said.
“Lorri was designed by a Brisbane school student to represent the excitement, colour, individuality, and inclusivity of the Global Games. From the first moment Lorri came to life, people loved engaging with the mascot and Lorri is one of the most memorable experiences for the athletes also.”
In a year’s time, Lorri will proudly welcome athletes, their families, and friends from around the world to the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes Region to compete against the best French athletes.
Over 50 members from the Virtus community attended the one-year-to-go countdown, including the Virtus governing board members, international federation members, and national member organisations representing every region.