With impressive numbers coming from powerlifting and roller-skating, India finished the Special Olympics World Games with a rich haul of 368 medals, which included 85 gold, 154 silver and 129 bronze here on Thursday.
It’s a record haul for the country which fielded a 284-member team.
But Timothy Shriver, the Chairman of Special Olympics International, made it clear that the Games were not about medals at all.
“This is not about countries, it’s about people, it’s not about one nation defeating another nation...you just talk to the athletes, what is their message, ‘I had a good time, I played, I trained, I competed, I won a medal.’ That’s it,” said Timothy at the ADNEC hall here on Thursday when a question was put to him about who had topped the medals table.
“So, we don’t maintain a medals table,” he explained.
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Timothy was so impressed with the host here that he said the World Games, a Games for the intellectually challenged, would come back to UAE if the Emirates wanted to host them again. The Games in the UAE also had a record number of events and countries.
Meanwhile Sultan Al Jaber, the Minister of State and Chief Executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, said his company would provide rewarding career opportunities for ‘people of determination’ and also introduce a range of programmes through ADNOC schools that will offer special training.
The eight-day Games had a colourful closing ceremony at the Zayed Sports City Stadium here on Thursday night.
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