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De Bruyne offers support to Special Olympics

VfL Wolfsburg's Kevin De Bruyne has been helping to promote the 2014 Special Olympics European Summer Games in his homeland, with Christian Karembeu representing UEFA.

A poster is being used to publicise the campaign
A poster is being used to publicise the campaign ©UEFA.com

Kevin De Bruyne has many challenges forthcoming with VfL Wolfsburg in the UEFA Europa League, but he has already been looking to break down barriers by supporting the 2014 Special Olympics European Summer Games in Belgium.

While his club side were opening their group stage campaign with a 4-1 defeat by Everton FC in England, over 2,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from across 58 countries were competing at the games in Antwerp, held from 9 to 20 September.

De Bruyne helped to raise awareness of the 2014 event – and the need to back them – by posting an image of himself with facial characteristics associated with Down's syndrome on his social media pages, accompanied by the question "Does De Bruyne deserve fewer supporters now?".

The games was also attended by UEFA's Captains of Change ambassador, Christian Karembeu, a long-time supporter of Special Olympics. "It is very important to me that we can share sporting activities without any discrimination," said the two-time UEFA Champions League winner.

"They [the athletes] inspire and give a sense of humanity to us because if you see how they play, how they perform, how they move, they are like everybody. The passion and adrenaline is there and that's also thanks to the people around them for educating them how to be healthy. In sport we can achieve great things and the Special Olympics is a celebration of athletes and people with intellectual disabilities. It is freedom."