Kazan is set to host the Special Olympics World Winter Games starting a year from today ©Getty Images

With the 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games now only one year away, organisers in Kazan and Special Olympics executives have expressed their support for the upcoming competition.

The Games are due to run from January 22 to 28 next year in Russia.

More than 2,000 athletes from 108 countries are due to compete in seven sports at the event.

These sports are Alpine skiing, snowboarding, floorball, cross-country skiing, figure skating, short track speed skating and snowshoeing. 

An estimated 3,000 volunteers will support the athletes.

"Special Olympics is proud to host World Winter Games 2022 in Kazan in Russia," said Special Olympics chief executive Mary Davis.

"Kazan has established itself as a city capable of hosting top international sporting events, and I am confident World Winter Games 2022 will leave a lasting legacy of inclusion in Russia and show the world that sports are a catalyst for inclusion and peace."

Special Olympics Russia estimates it would hold around 5,000 sporting events for people with intellectual disabilities in a normal year, catering to approximately 130,000 athletes.

"World Winter Games Kazan will create an atmosphere of joy and kindness, breaking down barriers and conventions," said Olga Slutsker, President of Special Olympics Russia.

"When it comes to inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, we see that we are more alike than we are different.

"Sports have the power to bring people together, and World Winter Games Kazan 2022 will build an inclusive culture in Russia and around the world."

The 2022 World Winter Games will be the first time that Special Olympics has brought a global competition to Russia.

Initially, the Special Olympics World Winter Games were set to be held in 2021 in Åre and Östersund in Sweden, but it was announced that the Swedish Paralympic Committee would not finance the event in December 2019.

In June 2020, it was announced that Kazan would be the new host of the Games, with competition postponed to 2022.