Final preparation is underway for a major sporting event in Abu Dhabi! From 14 March – 21 March 2019, 7,500 athletes from over 190 countries will participate in 24 Olympic sports during the Special Olympics. This is the first time in the 50-year history of the event that it will be hosted in the Middle East North Africa region. The Special Olympics’ mission is the empowerment of people with intellectual disabilities through sports. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s leadership and vision have brought together public and private sector partners for this major sporting event.
Competitions will be at the individual and team levels. The Special Olympics segments athletes using a process based on abilities, rather than disabilities, to ensure good competition. This process, known as “Divisioning,” always includes a minimum of three and a maximum of eight athletes in each division.
Venues for the event include the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club, Yas Marina Circuit, Al Forsan Resort, Yas Links Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Corniche Beach, Dubai Police Club Stadium and Hamdan Sports Complex. An estimated 20,000 volunteers will be needed to successfully host the event.
As with the Olympics, a torch run proceeds the sporting event. The Law Enforcement Torch Run from Fujairah to Abu Dhabi is scheduled from 4-13 March. See the path of the run here.
Opening ceremony will be 14 March 2019 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. For complete details on the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 go to https://www.abudhabi2019.org/