His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has welcomed the Special Olympics UAE delegation following their recent success at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
His Highness praised the athletes for their dedication and commitment, which saw them bring home the largest number of medals of any country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with a record tally of 73 gold, silver and bronze.
His Highness also reiterated the unwavering commitment of the leadership to empowering People of Determination and providing them with every means of support to enable them to reach their full potential, and contribute to the nation’s success.
Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of Community Development and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Special Olympics, said: "The Special Olympics UAE team was welcomed today by His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed, following their outstanding achievements at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. This incredible gesture celebrates more than 18 months of intense preparations and rigorous training camps that contributed to this success, demonstrating our nation's commitment to empowering People of Determination, their welfare, and full integration in the community, to become inspiring ambassadors for the UAE and its values."
The UAE team, which comprised 167 individuals including 72 athletes at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023, formed the largest squad from MENA. Athletes competed in 20 sports ranging from swimming, cycling and sailing to horse riding, judo and gymnastics.
The UAE team’s achievements build on their 182-medal haul at the Special Olympics World Games 2019, when over 7,000 athletes from more than 190 countries competed across 24 summer sports in Abu Dhabi.
The successful hosting of the event was followed by the launch of the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024, which aims to support People of Determination by nurturing an inclusive and empowering community with life-long access to rights, services and opportunities.
Also present during the reception were members of the Board of Trustees of Special Olympics UAE, as well as representatives of several entities, including ADNOC, Integrated Transport Center Abu Dhabi, Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, Al Ain Sports Club, Abu Dhabi Public Health Center and Aldar Properties.