India’s impressive win included 85 gold medals at the Special Olympics World Summer Games with 154 silver and 129 bronze medals. The Games were held at Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
The Indian team comprised 284 athletes, the powerlifters winning the most medals: 20 gold, 33 silver and 43 bronze. Roller skaters bagged 49 medals: 13 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze. In cycling, the tally was 11 gold, 14 silver and 20 bronze to total 45 medals, while the track and field athletes claimed 39 medals: 5 gold, 24 silver and 10 bronze.
The Special Olympics is a global movement in which more than half a million people participate. Their mission: ‘is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.’ ‘Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success.’
The Special Olympics holds 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 100,000 competitions during the course of the year. It takes the help of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers.