Special Olympics Oman team all set for Abu Dhabi challenge

Muscat, March 7 –
A talented and enthusiastic bunch of 75 Omani athletes will be part of the Special Olympics Oman team that will represent the Sultanate at the 2018 Regional Special Olympics Games in Abu Dhabi from March 14th-25th. The athletes will be joined by more than 1,200 athletes from around 33 countries to compete in 16 different sports supported by over 450 coaches and 3,000 volunteers.
“This is our largest team ever to participate in the Special Olympics Games and we are exceptionally proud to be representing Oman in the Regional Games in Abu Dhabi,” said Saif bin Mohammed al Rubaeiy, Vice-Chairman of Special Olympics Oman.
“Our athletes have been working hard and training for months and are ready to rise to the challenge. Their participation is a living proof of the great potential people with intellectual disabilities they have and a testament that a person can find joy, confidence and fulfilment through the power of sports,’’ he added.
Al Rubaeiy also said the athletes have been training hard.
“Our athletes have been training in their respective governorates, in the sports complexes, lot of private schools and they are collaborating with the schools,’’ he added.
In terms of the expectations, Al Rubaeiy said the contingent is expecting a couple of medals.
“We are expecting a couple of gold medals and if not, it is still victory for us,’’ he added.
“The medals are expected in football, roller-blading, table tennis and bowling,’’ he said.
Some of the athletes bound for Abu Dhabi shared their thoughts on the trip to Abu Dhabi.
Salim, who will be participating in the bowling competition, said he was thrilled about representing Oman in the event.
“I am very excited about representing Oman. It is going to be my first time but I am looking forward to it eagerly,’’ he added.
“I used to train with my brother and I really like the sport,’’ Salim said.
Muluk is another participant in the bowling section. She will be competing at the event for the first time.
The enthusiastic young girl said she trains three days per week and has a morning training session.
Ahmed is a football player and will be participating in the Abu Dhabi event after a good outing at the previous tournament in Korea.
“In Korea, we got the first place and three medals in total,’’ he added.