ABU DHABI, H.H. Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, has inaugurated an exhibition celebrating the far-reaching legacy and impact of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, as the event marks its second anniversary.
The opening of the exhibition was attended by Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, Dr Mugheer Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community Development, Talal Al Hashemi, National Director of Special Olympics UAE, other senior representatives of Special Olympics UAE and senior representative of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 sponsors.
H.H. reaffirmed Abu Dhabi’s commitment to being the most inclusive place for People of Determination and praised the tangible impact of the work that has been carried out since the Games to enhance inclusion and ensure a dignified life for People of Determination.
He emphasised the importance of continually introducing new approaches to schooling and education; sports and arts activities to enhance wellbeing; work opportunities to build careers; and community initiatives to enhance young People of Determination’s independence.
The exhibition, hosted by Special Olympics UAE at Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi until 22 April, highlights memorable moments from the Games – which united communities across the UAE during a week of sporting achievement, entertainment and inspiration – and showcase the multiple impactful initiatives launched since the closing ceremony.
The exhibition explores the Games’ legacy through eight themes: education; wellbeing; community; sport; arts; youth and leadership; and business. It also highlights the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024, launched in September 2020 with the involvement of 28 local and federal government entities to further develop an integrated and enabling environment for People of Determination in Abu Dhabi.
Talal Al Hashemi, National Director of Special Olympics UAE, said: “Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 has proven that with courage, determination and willpower, there is no limit to what People of Determination can achieve. Two years have passed since the World Games and our priority as Special Olympics UAE has been to continue the legacy and maintain inclusive initiatives for our athletes, their families, and communities across every sphere.
“Our divine mission echoes our leadership’s commitment to providing People of Determination with the optimal conditions to grow, learn and thrive.”
Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khali, Chairman of the Department of Community Development, said: “Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 celebrated inclusion and the UAE’s commitment to empowering People of Determination to follow their dreams.
“As the two-year anniversary is celebrated, the legacy of the Games continues and Abu Dhabi is leading in launching initiatives and programmes to show People of Determination that there is no limit when it comes to what they can achieve.
“The UAE is proud of its legacy of inclusion and looks forward to implementing more strategies to create a more inclusive society that allows all people to fulfil their potential.”
In March 2019, the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 welcomed more than 7,000 athletes of determination from more than 200 nations to Abu Dhabi to take part in the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event.
More than 20,000 volunteers from across the UAE also mobilised to support the Games in various roles, from communications and event organisation to athlete liaison.
Held during the Year of Tolerance, Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 broke records by welcoming the most number of Nations in the history of the event and as the first nation in the MENA region to stage the Games.
Source: Emirates News Agency