The United Arab Emirates National Olympic Committee (UAE NOC) executive office has praised the success of the Special Olympics World Summer Games, which concluded in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
The event attracted 7,500 athletes from a record 200 countries, competing in 24 individual and team sports.
Appreciation for the Games was expressed by the executive office during a meeting at UAE NOC headquarters in Dubai.
Before the start of the meeting, attendees thanked UAE NOC President Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum for his unlimited support of athletes in various events.
They also thanked the directives of Sheikh Ahmed for lending full support to "people of determination" – the term used in the UAE to describe people with disabilities – to ensure the success of their events highlighted by the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games.
Members stressed that the attention of the UAE leadership to the people of determination had showcased the profile of the country as a global destination for hosting and organising sporting and humanitarian events.
They praised the continuous support of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces, which is said to have had a "massive implication" on the success of the humanitarian event, classified as the biggest worldwide.
"The event reflected the importance of integrating this category in various community events, as it is bound to bring benefits back to them in terms of psychological, physical and mental perspectives," a UAE NOC statement reads.
"It is an ambition to qualify these champs and hone their skills and abilities to communicate through sports events of such a scale, bringing together people of determination from all over the world."
The meeting was chaired by UAE NOC vice-president Humaid Al Qattami.
It also saw the executive office name Azzah Suleiman as the head of the UAE NOC’s Financial Resources and Marketing Committee.
The Special Olympics World Summer Games were first held in 1968 in Chicago.