Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017 on ESPN2: Thursday, March 23

Special Olympics

Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017 on ESPN2: Thursday, March 23

  • Lindsay Czarniak and Kevin Neghandhi Host Nightly Coverage at 6 p.m. ET
  • ESPN.com Coverage Continues with Powerful Stories
  • ESPN Images Photographers Capturing the World Winter Games

ESPN’s global coverage of the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, the largest sporting and humanitarian event in 2017, began with live coverage of the Games’ Opening Ceremony on Saturday, March 18.

Coverage continues each night this week at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 with Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017. Hosted by ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak and Kevin Neghandhi, the program originates on site in Austria and includes interviews, features, special guests, a daily “competition showcase” segment and contributions from ESPN’s Jen Lada, Victoria Arlen and Marty Smith, as well as ESPN contributor and Special Olympics Global Messenger, Dustin Plunkett.

On tonight’s show:

  • Marty Smith Remembers Special Olympics World Games LA 2015 athlete Olivia Quigley
  • Costa Rican snowshoer Kenneth Menesses Ramirez is on set for a very special presentation
  • Feature on the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program

ICYMI: For those that missed Wednesday’s show, highlights included:

  • USA’s Dana Shilts Does Not Disappoint in Gold Medal Run in the snowboarding super-G F3 event.  Watch
  • Swim coach Cho Wonsang, who also has an intellectual disability and competes in cross-country skiing, came to the U.S. from Korea to help Special Olympics athletes in the pool and found some friends along the way. Watch

ESPN’s global digital platforms – the world’s leading portfolio of digital sports properties in the world, including local editions of ESPN.com and the ESPN App, streaming platforms and more – is offering extensive coverage  throughout the World Winter Games.

With news, long-form feature storytelling, video, blogs from athletes, coaches and volunteers, photo galleries and more, ESPN examines the people and topics of the Special Olympics movement.

Among the highlighted coverage today, is:

  • Cross-Country Skier Nikota Easterling is Part of a Modern Family – Described as “compassionate,” Easterling has been a sister to more than 100 foster children. The kindness she learned at home has translated to her Special Olympics teammates. View
  • Speedskating is the Perfect Outlet for Tommy Shimoda – Barb Shimoda wasn’t expecting her emotions to get the best of her when she saw her son take the ice at the World Games. But Special Olympics has given him a voice he would not have had otherwise. View 
  • Conquering Goals is a Habit for U.S. Cross-Country Skier John Piestrzynski – Whether it’s climbing 46 peaks in the Adirondacks or competing for the U.S. cross-country ski team at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, John Piestrzynski loves a good challenge. View

ESPN Images is capturing photos from around the Special Olympics World Games throughout the week, including the below. The full collection of ESPN Images photos from the event, available for use, can be found here: http://bit.ly/2nze2to

U.S. TV SCHEDULE:  Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria



Time (ET)

Thu, Mar 23 Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 6-7pm ESPN2
Fri, Mar 24 Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 6-7pm ESPN2
Sun, Mar 26 Special Olympics World Winter Games 2017 – Best of the Games 2-3pm ABC

NOTE:   All shows will also be simulcast on the ESPN App and WatchESPN

ESPN:  Paul Melvin   +1 860 766 5069 or [email protected]
              Teri Couch    +1 860 766 4696 or [email protected]

Every two years, Special Olympics holds its flagship event, the World Games, demonstrating sports excellence, which promotes equality, respect and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities around the world. Transcending the boundaries of geography, nationality, political philosophy, gender, age, culture and religion, the world will come together to celebrate inclusion around the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Graz, Schladming-Rohrmoos and Ramsau, Austria 14 March – 25 March 2017. More than 2,700 athletes and 1,000 coaches representing 107 countries, along with 10,000 volunteers and thousands more spectators, will participate in and watch exciting sports and community events. This is the second time Austria has hosted the World Winter Games, having also staged the event in 1993. Sports featured are Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Speed Skating, Floor Hockey, Floorball, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, and Stick Shooting. For more information on the 2017 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.austria2017.org and on social on Facebook, and Twitter.

ESPN is proud of its relationship with Special Olympics, which spans more than 31 years and over the past three years, ESPN has continued to deepen its relationship with the Special Olympics movement.

Earlier this year, ESPN and Special Olympics committed to continuing their alliance to use the power of sports to promote social inclusion and acceptance by reaching two agreements:  an extension, and expansion, of ESPN’s Global Presenting Sponsorship of Special Olympics Unified Sports® and a new, three-year global programming agreement.

The new $1.5 million grant supports Special Olympics Unified Sports, as well as other initiatives, and extends and expands a role ESPN has held since 2013. Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Special Olympics Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. With support from ESPN and others, Special Olympics has grown this innovative and inclusive program to more than 1.2 million participants. As part of the continued support of Unified Sports, ESPN will invest in Special Olympics’ goal to build Unified Sports programming and resources in 10,000 schools by 2020 and ensuring 100,000 coaches receive new/renewed sports certifications by 2020.

ESPN’s global Special Olympics programming agreement means ESPN is not only an Official Broadcaster of the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, but also the Official Broadcaster of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, and the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. ESPN is also adding more news and feature coverage of other Special Olympics events, athletes and stories over the course of the three-year agreement

ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplifts the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use the power of sport to positively address society’s most pressing needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to www.espn.com/citizenship 


Teri Couch

I oversee our company archives and manage our media website (ESPN Press Room). I also help out with PR efforts around our partnership with Special Olympics.
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