SPECIAL OLYMPICS: WHAT ARE THEY?
Special Olympics World Games is considered as one of the biggest sport events in the world for those who have intellectual disabilities. An athlete with disabilities and minimum age 8 can participate . The International Olympic Committee do not run the Games, but they still officially recognize it. There are two main events, like the mainstream version, with the Summer Games and the Winter Games which are held every two years. The last Summer Games were held in 2019 in city Abu Dhabi, UAE.
WHEN WAS THE FIRST GAME ORGANIZED?
Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who is the sister of John F Kennedy (former president) started Special Olympics organization. The intention was to positively change people’s attitude towards the ones who are intellectually disabled. The first edition of the Summer Games was organized in 1968 in Chicago, USA. The first Games to be organized outside US was at Dublin, Ireland in 2003. Around 7000 athletes from 150 countries took part in it. The first edition of the Winter Games was organized in Steamboat Springs, USA in year 1977. The previous edition was at Graz and Schladming of Austria held in 2017.
WHEN DID INDIA FIRST TOOK PART IN THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS?
India first participated in this tournament in the Notre Dame and also South Bend Games in the year 1987. It was a 11 athlete contingent game. After that India have participated in every edition of this Game.
India has a Special Olympic Bharat programme under the sports ministry by the national sports federation.
WHICH SPORTS ARE A PART OF THESE GAMES?
These competitions are organized with about 28 sports which include athletics, basketball, basketball 3×3, badminton, beach volleyball, bocce, cycling, equestrian, bowling, football, futsal, golf, gymnastics-rhythmic, handball, hockey, gymnastics-artistic, judo, kayaking, open water swimming, powerlifting, rowing, sailing, swimming, table tennis, roller skating, triathlon, tennis and volleyball.
Indian athletes will be participating in about 16 of the sports. This will include five team sports which are football, handball, beach volleyball, golf and volleyball.
SPECIAL OLYMPIC WORLD GAMES 2023
India is all set to play and has sent a 255 member big and strong contingent to Berlin for the Special Olympics, Summer Games. This is to be held from 17th of June to 25th of June.
Being the world’s largest sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities, the athletes have been attending camps from days. As per reports claim around 700 Indian athletes took part in the preparatory camp for four days at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. This camp started from June 7, 2023 and was closed on June 11, 2023. This was a before departure training for the mega event.
SEND OFF CEREMONY
Before the departure of the athletes, a send-off ceremony was also given by (SOB). This was attended by Anurag Thakur (the Sports Minister), Smriti Irani (Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs Minister) and PT Usha (Indian Olympic Association chief). Famous entities like Sonu Nigam (singer), Yuvraj Singh (cricketer) and many more were also a part of it.
Special Olympics Bharat (SOB) president Mallika Nadda, who is the wife of JP Nadda (the BJP president),told she believes that India will be winning more that 150 medals in the special olympics. She also expressed her confidence about the performances that the Indian athletes will give at the event.
Nadda also urged people to support the special athletes as they also deserve the dignity of life and sports will help them to get what they deserve. She also stressed that people should help athletes with their efforts. She even urged the government to recognize athletes efforts and also honor them with awards, cash and jobs. Nadda further thanked the government in advance for honoring special athletes. The winners of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will get the cash prizes of Rs 5 lakh, Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh after the events.
Uttarakhand’s Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, along with other officials have also wished the athletes for the upcoming events. Two f players and three of the coaches from Uttarakhand will be participating at the event.
HOW MANY INDIAN ATHLETES ARE PARTICIPATING?
India this time has sent a 255 athlete strong contingent to these Games. This further is divided into 176 athletes, 22 team partners and 57 coaches. 25 officials are also a part of the Special Olympics programme.
BRAND AMBASSADORS OF THE SPECIAL OLYMPICS 2023
Famous content creators Abhiraj and Niyati aka Abhi & Niyu who are known for their content creation are roped to motivate the Indian athletes. They have been handed the duty to cheer up the Indian special athletes present at the Special Olympics World Summer Games at Berlin. They are the Exclusive Goodwill Ambassadors in Influencers category for creating awareness for the special athletes from Indian contingent from June 17 to June 25 at the World Summer Games in Berlin, Germany.
Abhi & Niyu have even worked throughout India for finding 100 Indian inspiring tales of change, inspiration and positivity. They now explain facts with their potential content. Their goal of disseminating information on different topics varying from business studies, environmental challenges to potential remedies has gathered a lot of attention. Abhi and Niyu are happy to motivate the athletes.
Abhi and Niyu both of them truly believe in helping people however it is possible. They have been a part of numerous groups that helped connecting plasma donors and to obtain hospital beds. Both of them have also helped in providing necessities to the poor during the second wave of pandemic. They also urged people online to give their used and worn-out masks and PPE kits to their cause.