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Indian players came back with a whopping tally of 368 medals including 85 Gold, 154 Silver and 129 Bronze at Special Olympic Games in Abu Dhabi, which was held from March 14 to 21.
Medals were won across all sports - athletics, golf, volleyball, aquatics, cycling, judo, powerlifting, table tennis, roller skating, badminton, basketball traditional, handball traditional and football 7-side female.
More than 7,500 athletes across 192 countries competed in the 15th Special Olympics World Summer Games under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces.
This year’s Special Olympics was considered one of the most unified Games in the history of the Special Olympics movement. In the 2015 Special Olympics that took place in the US, India managed to grab 173 medals.
It’s a record haul for the country which fielded a 284-member team. But Timothy Shriver, the Chairman of Special Olympics International, made it clear that the Games were not about medals at all.
This was India’s ninth appearance at the event, which takes place every two years. With a vision of treating all athletes equally, the Special Olympics event offers a chance to individuals with not just physical but also intellectual disabilities to compete in any sport.
Following India’s stupendous show, PM Modi took to social media to appreciate the effort of the athletes and his post read: “Today is a proud day for India! Our contingent at the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi has won a historic 368 medals including 85 Golds. Congratulations to all the medalists. Their fortitude and accomplishments inspire millions.”