LOS ANGELES, CA – More than 50 athletes from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) participated in 12 different sports during the Special Olympics World Games, which recently concluded in Los Angeles. The UAE team was the first to touch down in Los Angeles, and after months of training, their efforts were rewarded: the team earned 14 gold medals, 9 silver medals, and 9 bronze medals.
In addition to competing in the Special Olympics World Games, the athletes from the UAE visited several communities in San Luis Obispo County and participated in events organized by the Special Olympics Host Town initiative, which included friendly sporting events with locals, sightseeing excursions and other community outreach activities.
“It has been a joy to cheer on these Emirati athletes who represent the best of the UAE,” said UAE Consul General in Los Angeles Abdulla Alsaboosi. “By training hard and refusing to let any obstacle stand in their way, these athletes are an inspiration for everyone.”
Consul General Alsaboosi and H.E. Mohammed Mohammed Fadel Al Hameli, Deputy-Chairman and Secretary-General of the Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs, attended several events at the Special Olympics World Games – ranging from aquatics to table tennis – to support and cheer for the athletes during their competitions. Consul General Alsaboosi also joined the Los Angeles Police Department in presenting the UAE athletes with their medals.
“These athletes make their country proud, and they should be applauded for their efforts,” said UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba. “I congratulate the athletes on their great achievements and wish them much future success.”
During the UAE athletes’ time in Los Angeles, the UAE Consulate also hosted a celebration in honor of Eid Al Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Athletes, Emirati students and other guests gathered together for a traditional feast and enjoyed reciting traditional poetry and dancing.
The Special Olympics World Games were held in various venues throughout Southern California, and hosted nearly 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries. Over a period of nine days, the participants competed in 25 sports ranging from weightlifting to the triathlon.
The UAE has participated in the Special Olympics World Games since 1999.