Dear participants and coaches of the 6th European Athletics Championships of the Deaf, dear friends,
I have the honour to welcome you to Tallinn, the historical capital of Estonia for the most representative 6th European Athletics Championship of the Deaf. You are coming from 22 different big and small countries around uniting Europe. Among you are numerous winners of previous European and World championships. We are proud to welcome you and I hope that you will reach excellent results on the tracks in Tallinn. Our warmest welcome belongs to the young athletes, who are first time participants in the European Championship. Let me wish you much success and may you set here the new personal records to bring the pride and joy to yourself and your national teams.
You all know that this 2003 is the European Year of Disabled. This championship is the biggest international sporting event in Estonia to commemorate this year of breaking barriers for European people with special needs. During your stay you will see the results of our integration processes, our achievements and our problems. I am happy to say that the most important breakthrough reached in Estonia during the last decade is recognising the special needs of special people by the general public. It helps us to initiate new programs for education, work and leisure. This championship will attract a lot of attention in Tallinn, all over Estonia and stay as an important landmark of hope and new energy for hearing impaired people.
Your days in Tallinn will be full of competitions, cultural events, finding new friends and meeting old ones. I sincerely hope that you will have time to walk around in our Old Town, see the ancient houses and churches, narrow streets and the city wall. Our old Hanseatic Tallinn is a fairytale for ourselves. I would be happy if you will find your own fairytale in Tallinn and will take it back home to your families and friends.
I wish you sunny days in Tallinn and memorable sporting results.
You are always welcome back to Tallinn again.
Chairman of the Organising Committee,
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