World Games Opens Doors
By Santilli Diego, 16, and Troiano Alessandro, 18

Nikolaos Asepsis (Photo: Italo Santilli)
June 23—Nikolaos Asepsis of Special Olympics Greece has been involved with Special Olympics for 10 years now. This is the first time he has participated in a World Summer game. The opportunity has given the 22-year-old basketball player a chance to meet new people and make new friends.

"I am honored to represent the Greece basketball sport, and I'm very happy to be here, in Dublin, having a great time and a wonderful experience," he said.

Nikolaos lost his parents to a car accident in 1989. He was 8 years old. He lives in Greece with his brother and works in the family business.

"For me, the Opening Ceremony was fantastic and I was excited when Mandela was coming in the Stadium," Nikolaos said when asked about the highlight of the experience so far. He was referring to when freedom fighter Nelson Mandela opened the World Games by officially lighting the torch onstage during Opening Ceremonies.