The Indian contingent bagged a whopping total of 368 medals in the recently concluded Special Olympics World Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi. There were barely any advertisements about the Olympics or coverage before the tournament, but as soon as the medals started coming in clusters, the word got out. There were inspirational videos of athletes making rounds on the internet.
Team India ended their campaign with 85 gold, 154 silver and 129 bronze medals. The sports events India participated and won a medal or more are – athletics, golf, volleyball, aquatics, cycling, judo, power-lifting, table tennis, roller skating, badminton, basketball traditional, handball traditional and football 7-side female.
There were plenty of heartwarming moments throughout the tournament as well. Like powerlifter Manali Manoj Shelke failing thrice and then completing the task after motivation from coach and audience; and cyclist Abhishek Gogoi won a silver medal despite getting injured in an earlier event.
There were also a few firsts for India in the tournament. India won 3 gold, 1 silver and 7 bronze medals in Judo and Futsal.
Indian powerlifters were the most successful in the Special Olympics 2019. They bagged 20 gold, 33 silver and 43 bronze medals. It was followed by roller skating where India won 13 gold, 20 silver and 16 bronze medals.
The participants in the tournament don’t just face physical restraint but intellectual disabilities too. This was the 9th time India participated in the Special Olympics. The next Special Olympics will be held after two years. Let’s hope that they get more coverage the next time they win hundreds of medals for India.