Abu Dhabi, March 22: Effectively making the nation proud, Indian Special athletes also proved to the world that you don’t only need to have perfect organs to be a champion but if you have enough will power and determination, you can achieve any heights!
With their hard-work paying off, Indian athletes returned home from Abu Dhabi bagging a historic number of medals.
Abu Dhabi said good bye to the 15th Special Olympic World Summer Games, the first one of its kind held in the Middle East, with a closing ceremony full of moving moments on March 21, which was also observed as World Down Syndrome Day.
Impressing everyone at the games, Team India in their ninth appearance at the games returned home with a whopping haul of 368 medals with 85 Gold, 154 Silver and 129 Bronze.
The eight-day extravaganza finally drew to a close in a spectacular ceremony with global superstar Nicole Scherzinger starting the night with her latest song “Victorious” written especially for the Special Olympics World Games.
“Life is tough, sometimes, the world can seem cruel”, Timothy Shriver, Chairman of the Special Olympics, said to all the athletes. “So be tough, be tougher than the tough, be stronger than the strong, be you, and be free”, he encouraged them.
The Prime Minister of India also took to twitter to congratulate the winners saying, “The fortitude and accomplishments of the sportspersons will inspire millions”.
Indian athletes won medals across all sports such as athletics, golf, volleyball, aquatics, cycling, judo, powerlifting, table tennis, roller skating, badminton, basketball traditional, handball traditional and football 7-side female.
The powerlifting team grabbed the most number of medals with 20 gold, 33 silver and 43 bronze with roller skating team just behind earning 13 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze.
It was also the first time India participated in Judo winning 3 gold and 1 silver and in Futsal clinching seven silver medals.
The next Special Olympic Games are set to take place in Sweden in 2021.