Sneak Peak into the Opening Ceremony of Special Olympics World Games 2019

On Thursday, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 got officially kicked off in a spectacular style. In fact, at the Zayed Sports City Stadium, it made a bold statement of inclusivity and acceptance. The opening ceremony displayed performances from global superstars, such as Avril Lavigne and an athlete’s parade that saw the participation of 200 countries.

The turning point of the event at Zayed Sports City was the torching of the cauldron, finishing the Flame of Hope torch run which started in Athens and has connected each Emirate across the UAE.

The journey of the flame that started from Athens has been carried by law enforcement officials and athletes across every emirate in the UAE.

Athletes also took the promise of the Special Olympic Games, as the flag of the games was lifted. Two athletes, carrying the flame, were given Arabic coffee, while they entered Zayed Sports City. They ran into the stadium to light the flame.

The game was officially opened by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. In his inaugural speech, H.H Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan stated that he feels proud to be with the Special Olympics athletes. The UAE would be able to deliver a message to the world that anything can be possible if the person has determinations.

Even the Minister of State for Youth Affairs Shamma Al Mazrui stated that the games in the Capital were recognition of the vision of the UAE leadership. Also, the chairman of the Special Olympics, Tim Shriver delivered a strong speech to inagurate the Abu Dhabi World Games.

A power packed performance, displaying the capacity and power of the Special Olympic athletes obtained applause from the crowd. Six Special Olympics athletes and six world champions were paired together in an act displaying an array of sports like running, weightlifting and basketball. However, the pre-show began with joint choir ‘Woven World’ – a performance honoring the strengths of a world full of diversity yet come together for a noble cause.

Every team from 190 nations was greeted with cheers and roar. Later on, the athletes’ marched into the stadium to lively ovation by around 40,000 fans from the stands.