Nick Clegg hosts reception for GB’s Special Olympians

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Special Olympics athletes who will feature in the Sheffield-hosted games in 2017 were given a send-off ahead of taking part in the European Summer Games this month.

Sheffield MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg held the reception alongside Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street, ahead of the Games.

Sheffield will host the Special Olympics, a sporting event for those with intellectual or learning disabilities, in 2017.

The games are expected to bring up to 10,000 visitors to Sheffield, and a £1.5 million boost, and build on the success of events such as the Tour de France.

The event was last held in the city in 1993, when the now-demolished Don Valley Stadium was used to open the Games.

A total of 35 athletes from the GB team attended the send-off before heading to the European Summer Games 2014 in Brussels, which will start this Saturday.

Mr Clegg said: “The Special Olympics is an incredible organisation that gives thousands of people the opportunity to learn new skills, make new friends, keep fit and compete for their country.

“The London 2012 Paralympics was a triumph for athletes with physical disabilities, and I’m proud the Special Olympics is now doing the same for people with intellectual disabilities.

“I wish all the athletes the best of luck for Antwerp and look forward to welcoming many of them to Sheffield where we will be proud hosts in 2017.”