Special Olympics athletes impress in Austria

966884By Lakshmi Kothaneth — MUSCAT: With great excitement Oman’s Special Olympics team arrived at the Muscat International Airport. Decorated with medals, the Omani athletes have made an unforgettable debut at the Special Olympics World Winter Games Austria 2017.
Oman won the gold in the 4×100 metres relay, while Raya Humaid al Husaini and Shatha Mubarak al Husaini grabbed silver medals in individual snowshoeing. Khalid Ali al Farsi claimed a bronze medal.
Khalid and Shatha also finished fifth in 100 metre running, AbdulRehman took sixth and Raya ended seventh to earn the Special Olympics given for athletes from fourth to eighth places.
HH Sayyid Faisal bin Turki al Said, Chairman of Special Olympics Oman, said, “It feels great to see their joy and parents’ pride. We are now onto the next challenge and that is to prepare a bigger team for Summer Special Olympics to be held in Abu Dhabi in 2019. The preparation and funding need to begin now.”
As there are plans for more games to be added, there is an exciting area that is being developed. “For the first time we are going to set up a sailing team and we have signed an agreement with Oman Sail. This will help us in building capacity of the team. The more sports we include, the more opportunities we have for the athletes.”
Meanwhile, Dalia Muhammad al Bassami, Special Olympics Oman Media Supervisor, said that being with the team in Austria was exciting.
A jubilant Dalia said, “The 100×4 gold medal for the team added value to the whole team. The coaches did tremendous job in preparing them for the games keeping in mind even the change of climate.”
“This noble movement of Special Olympics has been such an opportunity to integrate with other athletes from around the world. One of the athletes used to be so quiet and now the athlete is talkative with clear voice. The parents of athletes are so proud and I hope this will make many parents to come forward to give them the experience of sports.”