Grit, Guts and Glory: The Special Olympics in pictures

Grit, Guts and Glory: The Special Olympics in pictures

Germany's Hartmut Freund celebrates a point
Germany's Hartmut Freund celebrates a point in the Table Tennis Men's FInals 29+ Division 7. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

ABU DHABI: The Special Olympic World Games - a global meet specifically for athletes with intellectual disabilities - is currently underway in the United Arab Emirates. The event began on Mar 14 and is set to end on Mar 21.

At least 7,500 athletes from more than 190 nations will feature in this edition, the largest number of participants in the event’s history.

Indonesian handball players attempt to stop their Bangladesh opponent
Indonesian handball players attempt to stop their Bangladesh opponent. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

​​​​​​​

A section of the crowd during the Special Olympics opening ceremony
A section of the crowd at the Special Olympics opening ceremony. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

At the Special Olympics, athletes are not excluded based on qualifying scores. Rather they are separated into different divisions based on factors such as their age, gender as well as level of ability. They then compete in these divisions.

An Australian gymnast on the rings
A gymnast is closely supervised during his routine. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

This is the first time the meet is held in the Middle East. The Special Olympics began as a summer camp for children with special needs, founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the sister of former US President John F Kennedy.

Singapore's Oliver Tan tries to block a pass from his Serbian opponent
Oliver Tan, one of the three unified partners in the basketball team, tries to block a pass from his Serbian opponent. Serbia went on to win the match 24-20. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

Called Camp Shriver, the idea began to grow and the first International Summer Olympic Games were held in Chicago in 1968.

A Norwegian gymnast reacts after completing his routine
A Norwegian gymnast reacts after completing his routine. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

The tagline of this edition of the Special Olympics is "Meet the Determined", which celebrates the abilities of athletes and aims to change perception of intellectual disability.

Ahmad Sutrisno and Low Boon Chin stand beside the podium
Athletes Ahmad Sutrisno (left) and Low Boon Chin stand beside the podium at the Special Olympics World Games on Mar 16, 2019. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

This year marks Singapore’s tenth occasion participating in the Special Olympics. The Republic finished with 12 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze medals during the previous edition in Los Angeles.

Members of the Puerto Rico contingent at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics
Members of the Puerto Rico contingent at the Special Olympics opening ceremony. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

The opening ceremony of the Special Olympics was held at Zayed Sports City on Wednesday (Mar 14).

Young spectators look on during the Special Olympics opening ceremony
Young spectators look on during the Special Olympics opening ceremony. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

Among those performing at the opening ceremony were singers Avril Lavigne and Luis Fonsi.

Germany's Dennis Lehn returns a shot in his 3-1 victory over Japan's Kazuya Kawaguchi
Germany's Dennis Lehn returns a shot in his 3-1 victory over Japan's Kazuya Kawaguchi. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

A total of 24 different sports will be contested at the Special Olympics across nine venues in two cities - Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Source: CNA/mt(mn)

Bookmark