Let’s start from scratch.
What are the Special Olympics?
The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organisation for individuals who are intellectually disabled.
The organisation provides year-round training and competitions to over 4.4 million athletes across 170 countries. Competitions and events are held every single day, all around the world, and add up to 70,000 by the end of the year.
“The mission of Special Olympics 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.”
The Special Olympic World Games:
The Special Olympic World Games are held once every two years. They are alternated between the Summer Games and the Winter Games.
The Special Olympic World Summer Games 2015:
The 14th Special Olympic Summer Games were held in Los Angeles, California from 25th July to 2nd August. 6500 athletes from 177 countries participated in the Games.
India at the World Games:
The Indian contingent “Special Olympics Bharat” comprised of 275 athletes and coaches.
We placed third overall, bagging a total of 173 medals, which included 47 gold, 45 silver and 72 bronze medals.
This time’s tally is 17 more than that of the last edition, in which the Indian athletes had won 156 medals.
Here are a few of the medal winners:
- Ranvir Singh Saini, 14, became the first Indian Golfer to win a gold in the games
- Ishant Tudeja, 13, won a gold and a silver in Roller-skating
- Phoolan Devi, 17, won one gold and three bronze in Powerlifting
- Rajvir Singh won two golds in Cycling
- Kushal Resam won two golds and a bronze in Roller-skating
- Meera Kumari won a gold in Cycling
- Pawandeep Singh won a bronze in Basketball
These are just a few of the many heroes who competed in this time’s Games and did their country proud!
The Special Olympic World Winter Games will be next held in Austria from 14th to 25th March 2017.