Cambodia’s medal-winning Special Olympians returned to the Kingdom on Monday evening after a multiple medal-winning performance at the recently concluded Special Olympics World Games.
The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, this year held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates between March 14 and March 22, is a global sports event dedicated to people with intellectual disabilities. This year saw 7,500 athletes representing 195 countries take part in 24 sporting disciplines.
With competition wrapping up at the weekend, athletes backed by Special Olympics Cambodia won 10 medals; 3 gold, 3 silver, and 4 bronze. Cambodia sent 10 athletes and six delegates.
Since its founding 50 years ago, it has attracted half a million spectators from across the world. Like the International Paralympic Committee, the Special Olympics organisation is recognised by the International Olympic Committee; however, unlike the Paralympic Games, Special Olympics World Games are not held in the same year or in conjunction with the Olympic Games.
Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
Upon his return with the squad, Meas Sarin, vice-president of the Special Olympic Committee of Cambodia, spoke of his and the committee’s pride as the athletes gave an inspired performance in Abu Dhabi.
It was Cambodia’s fourth participation, the first coming in Shanghai, China in 2007, then Athens in Greece in 2011, 2015 in the USA.
The Cambodia Special Olympics Federation was formed in 2006 in and is part of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.