HomeNewsSpecial Olympics 2019: With A 368 Medal Haul, Indian Athletes Showcased Their...
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Special Olympics 2019: With A 368 Medal Haul, Indian Athletes Showcased Their Grit & How

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India recently finished in a fabulous manner at the Special Olympics World Summer Games held at Abu Dhabi UAE from March 14 to 21 with a huge haul of 368 medals. This included 85 gold, 154 silver and 129 bronze medals.

Medals were won across all sports in Special Olympics 2019- athletics, golf, volleyball, aquatics, cycling, judo, powerlifting, table tennis, roller skating, badminton, basketball traditional, handball traditional and football 7-side female.

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284 athletes from India participated in the prestigious Special Olympics 2019 event and it proved to be a big win for the country considering the medals clinched by them.

Country  Gold Silver Bronze Total
India 85 154 129 368

This was India’s ninth year of participating at the event, and the first time to be a part of Judo and Futsal in the competition; and yet, the participants managed 3 gold, 1 silver and 7 bronze medals.

This is by far the best performance by Team Bharat at the Special Olympics. The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, also congratulated the Indian team for setting a record making medal finish at the international podium.

Also Read: 10 Amazing India Para-Athletes Who Are Making The Country Proud

An outstanding medal haul in almost every sport

  • The most impressive performances from India was seen in powerlifting and roller skating.
  • A total of 20 gold, 33 silver and 43 bronze were clinched by Indian powerlifters. Indian roller skaters secured 13 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze medals.
  • Indian cyclists secured 45 medals including 11 gold, 14 silver and 20 bronze medals. In track and field events, athletes bagged 39 medals — 5 gold, 24 silver and 10 bronze.
  • Earlier on Tuesday, Jitender Pawal bagged gold in the 200m race in his division at the Dubai Police Stadium.
  • The 19-year-old started his training just a month ago but that did not stop Pawal from making his dream come true as he secured a podium finish.

These power-packed athletes define strength in the truest sense

The social stigma not only exists in India but has also affected countries around the globe that hold misperception and negative attitudes towards individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The Indian contingent in the UAE come from different parts of the country but they haven’t let their backgrounds stop them from competing together. “Our athletes come from almost everywhere. We even have national camps held at multiple cities.

So, people should understand that there are no barriers as such. We just need to train them with care,” explained volleyball coach Abhay Arjun Gaonkar to PTI.

Gritty Salmoli

Salmoli Chakraborty was returning with gold and swimming at the Special Olympics World Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi this week. Diagnosed with learning disabilities in 2008, when she was in Class II, Salmoli has battled odds to achieve whatever she has today.

Manali Manoj Shelke inspires with her never give up attitude

A powerlifter from Maharashtra, Manali attempted and failed to lift the weight three times. That was when her coach approached her and rallied the crowd to motivate her. With the audience rooting for her, the young athlete made another attempt and finally managed to lift the weight.

She went on to bag a gold medal in a combo of three, in addition to a bronze medal!

Abhishek Gogoi – Determination has no limits

Even after being diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was just a few months old, Abhishek was never a child to give up. When he realised that he had more control over the lower part of his body, he began to harness it with physiotherapy and sports, like cricket.

Eventually, he started practising cycling and was encouraged by his family and friends to take up the sport. Despite a bad fall resulting in injuries, the boy clinched a silver medal in the Special Olympics.

A brief background about Special Olympics

Chairman of Special Olympics International, Timothy Shriver, thanked UAE officials for hosting Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

Being extremely happy with the hosts, he said that the World Games for the specially abled would definitely come back to UAE if the Emirates wished to host them again.

When asked about the topper of medals table, Timothy said,  “This is not about countries, it’s about people, it’s not about one nation defeating another nation…you just talk to the athletes, what is their message, ‘I had a good time, I played, I trained, I competed, I won a medal. So, we don’t maintain a medals table.”

A humanitarian sporting event, the Special Olympics aims to promote an inclusive environment in sports. The games in Abu Dhabi this year created history with more than 190 counties participating.

The Special Games lasted for eight long days and closed beautifully with a wonderful closing ceremony at the Zayed Sports City Stadium here on Thursday night.

But, for India, the moment of their return adorning these medals will be remembered with utmost pride. The Indian contingent has successfully broken the barriers, for this Special Olympics was not about winning, it was about changing lives!

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Bhawna Kothari
Bhawna Kothari
Lover of cultures, varied colors, and underdogs, Bhawna is a by-heart and professional playwright. Hailing from a journalism & communication background, she incorporates a careful study at both flips of the coin which is essentially required to be analytical in thoughts and words. Actively abreast of the current affairs around the globe, she likes knowing and bringing into light the unexplored. Problem solving via the power of content is what inspires her and hence KreedOn, a platform created for the betterment of sports ecosystem in India, is now her happy workplace!


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