ABU DHABI, 30th June, 2022 (WAM) — Special Olympics UAE athletes won 16 medals during their participation in the Special Olympics Austria 2022 National Games, held in Burgenland from June 23-28, 2022.
Special Olympics UAE has been invited to participate with six other countries, as part of the Building Bridges between UAE and Austria program, launched in 2018.
Special Olympics UAE athletes excelled in powerlifting, dancesport and table tennis, recalling memories of their outstanding success at the Special Olympics Abu Dhabi 2019 World Games. 11 Special Olympics UAE athletes won 16 medals, including eight gold, two silver and six bronze at the National Games Austria 2022.
In powerlifting, Abdul Rahman Al Hosani won four gold medals and Mohammed Al Mazmi won two silver medals, while Ibrahim Al Hammadi won four bronze medals.
Khuloud Al Shehhi and Nadia Al Falasi each took first place in their respective table tennis categories, and in the doubles competitions (men), Mohammad Al Mas and Qais Al Qubaisi also won first place. In individual sports dance competitions, Ahmad Al Jailani came first and Ghanem Al Maamari came third.
The Special Olympics Austria 2022 National Games brought together 1,600 athletes from seven countries: Germany, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Slovakia and Hungary, in addition to Austria and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to the sports in which Special Olympics UAE athletes competed, the Games included judo, swimming, tennis, pétanque, golf, bowling and football.
On this occasion, Sheikh Suhail bin Butti Al Maktoum, Executive Director of the Sports Development Sector at the General Sports Authority, said: “We are proud of the achievements of the Special Olympics UAE athletes and their determination to win and to raise their nation’s flag in regional and international competitions, which reflect the efforts of Special Olympics UAE and its partners in the government and sports sectors, who share the goal of empowering determined people and enhancing their athletic performance.
“Participating in international tournaments is always a great opportunity for our athletes. Through engagement with other athletes around the world, we instill a culture of participation and sportsmanship, which helps build their self-confidence. and increases their chances of achieving their goals.Therefore, the General Sports Authority invites the sports sector to develop ways of collaboration and partnership to strengthen the presence of UAE sports in the international arena, giving athletes Emiratis the opportunity to participate in the best tournaments and events in the world,” he added.
Talal Al Hashemi, National Director of Special Olympics UAE, said, “We are proud of the continued achievements of Special Olympics UAE athletes at the international level, after winning 16 medals in Malta, Special Olympics UAE athletes went on to win a further 16 medals in Austria. Olympics UAE and Special Olympics Austria have enjoyed a strong relationship since the launch of the Building Bridges program between Abu Dhabi and Austria in 2018. The outstanding participation of our athletes in international appearances reflects the support they have received and their preparation to represent the United Arab Emirates. internationally, where they also learn and experience different cultures. After Austria 2022, the Special Olympics UAE Women’s Unified Soccer Team will travel to Detroit, Michigan next month to compete in the Special Olympics Detroit 2022 World Cup.”
The Building Bridges Between Abu Dhabi and Austria program was launched in 2018, under which a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Abu Dhabi and the Republic of Austria, strengthening the ties between the two Special Olympics institutions. This included an exchange of visits that included trainings and cultural events that support determined people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as recently as last March, where a delegation from Special Olympics Austria visited the Emirati capital and took part in basketball games, cultural dances, explored Qasr Al Hosn and Expo 2020 Dubai.
The Special Olympics UAE delegation consisted of 19 members, including 12 athletes, four coaches and a national ambulance doctor to ensure the health and safety of the athletes throughout their participations.