Photos courtesy of Special Olympics Egypt Photos courtesy of Special Olympics Egypt

115 Egyptian athletes to compete in Special Olympics MENA games

Wed, Feb. 28, 2018
CAIRO - 28 February 2018: A total of 115 athletes will be representing Egypt at Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018, set to take place in Abu Dhabi between March 14 and 22, Special Olympics Egypt announced in a press statement on Wednesday.

The Egyptian delegation comprises of 78 male athletes, 37 female athletes and 40 coaches, who will be competing across 16 sports, including athletics, swimming, cycling, table tennis and basketball.

“The Egyptian delegation aims to continue its success from the last regional games when it won 263 medals,” the statement reads. The most recent MENA Games held in Egypt were in 2014 and as the host country, Egypt, could enter two teams for each sport. It won 263 medals from its 334 athletes, including 75 gold, 111 silvers and 77 bronzes.

More than 1,000 athletes from 32 countries will travel to Abu Dhabi to take part in MENA IX Games, the first major sporting event ahead of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, which also marks the very first time for Special Olympics games to be held in an Arab country.

Photos courtesy of Special Olympics Egypt

The regional games will take place in eight different venues, including ADNEC, Zayed Sports City, Yas Marina Circuit, NYUAD, Officer’s Club, Mubadala IPC Arena, Al Jazira Sports Club and Al Forsan Club.

Hani Mahmoud, chairman of Special Olympics Egypt, comments, “I would like to congratulate the UAE for winning the bid to host Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 and of course the upcoming IX MENA Games Abu Dhabi 2018. I am sure the UAE will put on a hugely successful show and make every Arab across the region proud.”

Egypt has a strong history with Special Olympics. Special Olympics Middle East/North Africa started its movement in 1995 and hosted the first MENA regional games just four years later in Cairo, 1999.

At the time, Ayman Abdel Wahab was the national director for Special Olympics Egypt and under his leadership, the number of athletes taking part hiked from 4,500 to 15,000. Following this success, Abdel Wahab was moved to his current position of president and managing director of Special Olympics MENA.

Special Olympics IX MENA Games and Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 are a part of the UAE’s National Vision 2021 that highlights full integration of people with disabilities into everyday society, the statement reads. “Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the most ‘unified’ games in history and promise to offer an inclusive experience for those with and without intellectual disabilities.”

For more information about Special Olympics Egypt, read our full feature about SOE


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