Gymnastics performance at Egypt Special Olympics national games – Egypt Today/Yasmine Hassan
CAIRO - 4 December 2017: Special Olympics national games of Egypt kicked off Sunday, under the auspices of Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali.
The games witness the participation of over 2,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities, from 11 Egyptian governorates.
Held over four days, the national games include 16 sports, which will determine the candidates who will move on to the Regional Special Olympics, to be held in Abu Dhabi in March 2018.
“The main target [of Special Olympics] is social inclusion, through sports…We choose sports because it is the best field to prove that these people have the right to live just like us and better,” Special Olympics Middle East/North Africa Regional President and Managing Director, Ayman Abdel Wahab, told Egypt Today. Abdel Wahab also emphasized that these athletes are not simply “nice” but “important.”
“Through sports, I change the whole society and I show people that these athletes are important and that taking good care of them will reflect in a high return on investment and on society,” he stressed.
The opening ceremony started with a word from Sondos Mohamed Abdel Moneim, the official Spokesperson for the Egyptian Special Olympics athletes, followed by a speech by Abdel Wahab and finally the word of the Minister of Social Solidarity, who wished the best of luck to the athletes.
Sondos Mohamed Abdel Moneim, official Spokesperson for the Egyptian Special Olympics athletes – Special Olympics Egypt official Facebook page
Chairman of Special Olympics Egypt, Hany Mahmoud, handed out the Special Olympics Award to actress Rania Farid Shawki, international festivals expert Soheir Abdel Kader and Wali.
The athletes also gave a number of artistic performances, including two traditional Egyptian dances and a short gymnastic act.
Following the regional competition, Special Olympics world games will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2019, marking the first time ever a global olympic event is held in the Middle East.