The kickoff of the 15th edition of the Special Olympics World Summer Games was held on Thursday with a beautiful opening ceremony at the Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.
The ceremony was presided by Sheikh Mohammed Ben Zayed Al-Nahyane, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the State Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates, in the presence of several heads of state, foreign personalities and Emirati.
Chaired by Chrifa Lalla Soumaya El Ouazzani, the Moroccan delegation of Special Olympics Morocco, taking part in this sporting event, is composed of 62 members, including 41 athletes (girls and boys), engaged in different disciplines on the program of the world games.
Our athletes will represent the Kingdom and take part in the competitions of 11 sports disciplines, namely: athletics, swimming, badminton, bocce, cycling, horse riding, golf, weightlifting, table tennis, tennis and triathlon.
Broadcast by ESPN International and Abu Dhabi Media, and exclusive to the channel Arryadia, Media Partner of Special Olympics Morocco, the opening ceremony was marked by several artistic performances, including the screening of a film depicting the birth of Special Olympics and the various milestones it has achieved, as well as a vibrant tribute to “Eunice Kennedy Shriver”, founder of Special Olympics, is a pioneer in the global struggle for the rights and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities.
Carrying a moving message of courage, unity and solidarity, the ceremony ended with the impressive arrival of the “Olympic Flame” and the performance of the official Special Olympics anthem by world music stars (Hussain Al Jasmi, Luis Fonsi, Avril Lavigne, Tamer Hosni and Assala).
From March 14 to 21, nearly a thousand people, including 7,500 athletes representing 192 countries, take part in the Abu Dhabi World Games. It should be noted that Morocco took part in several World Games – Special Olympics, notably in Los Angeles, in the United States, in 2015 where the Moroccan team won 41 medals (15 in gold, 18 in silver and 8 in bronze), Athens (Greece) in 2011, Shanghai (China) 2007 and Dublin (Ireland) in 2003.
As a reminder, Special Olympics Morocco aims to help the physical, psychological and social development of people with mental disabilities, through the practice of sports activities. Special Olympics Morocco was created in 1994 by Feue Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Amina. Thanks to the many sports activities, the program is based on modern techniques, aimed at developing and improving the quality of services offered to athletes.
It aims to help the physical, psychological and social development of people with intellectual disabilities. The objective being to facilitate their integration and social inclusion, to sensitize the various components of society to the rights of people with mental disabilities; to motivate and encourage families, volunteers and students to participate in various sports, socio-educational and recreational programs; and train coaches and educators to ensure proper coaching of athletes.
In addition to the National Games organized every two years in Ifrane, Special Olympics Morocco has established an annual program including a Basketball Throne Cup, unified sports competitions, training courses for executives working in the field, and that the Throne Cup and the Cup of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Amina, indoor football.