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Berlin police seek missing Special Olympics delegates

June 27, 2023

More than a dozen members of delegations at the Special Olympics in Berlin have disappeared, rather than return to their home countries, German authorities have said.

The closing festival of the Special Olympics Summer Games in Berlin, Germany
Large numbers came to see the Special Olympics in Berlin, which was hailed as a successImage: Jürgen Engler/Nordphoto/IMAGO

Berlin authorities say that 14 members of delegations to the Special Olympics Summer Games, which drew to a close this week, have disappeared.

Berlin Interior Senator Iris Spranger said Berlin state police were seeking their whereabouts.

"The focus is to find them and find out that they're okay," she said.

What we know about the missing delegates

According to officials, those who have gone missing are carers or relatives of the Special Olympics participants.

It is suspected they may not have returned to their countries of origin because they want to remain in Germany.

The missing people include eight members of the Ivory Coast delegation along with one each from Algeria, Burundi, Cameroon, Guinea, Lebanon, and Senegal.

Spranger said that there were no indications of accidents or instances where people had disappeared for reasons outside their own volition.

Some 330,000 people attended the games, held from June 17-25, with some 176 delegations as guests in Berlin.

In addition, some 3,000 trainers and carers were there, and some 9,000 family members traveled there.

Organizers claim that the Games raised the issue of inclusion and accessibility in Germany to a new level.

rc/rs (dpa, EFE)

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