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UAE welcomes 7,500 athletes to Special Olympics

Date : 15 Mar 2019

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 14, 2019: The Special Olympics World Games will be held in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from March 14-21.

The largest sporting and humanitarian event are being held for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa region. More than 7,500 athletes from 190 countries are taking part and will compete in 24 sports. A total of 20,000 volunteers will be on call during the week-long showpiece and will include people with and without intellectual disabilities.

The last Special Olympics was staged in 2017 in Austria. The Games began in 1968 and was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of former American president John F. Kennedy. The Abu Dhabi Games will mark the culmination of the 50th anniversary celebrations.

The Special Olympic brings together people with intellectual disabilities. A staggering 6,000 families will be at the Games cheering for their special athlete who have will have the support of 3,000 coaches. The families and coaches will create one of the most unified Games, ensuring every spectator, guest and fan benefits from a more inclusive and interactive experience.

Host nation the United Arab Emirates has made inclusivity a priority within National Vision 2021. The term “people of determination” was introduced in 2017 by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as part of a new National Strategy for empowering people with disabilities.

Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne will sing at the Opening Ceremony at the iconic Zayed Sports City stadium in Abu Dhabi. The Games will be held in seven venues in Abu Dhabi and two in Dubai.

Source: Gulf News



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