The Egyptian delegation aims to continue its success from the last regional games when it won 263 medals

“UAE will make every Arab across the region proud”

26 February 2018, Abu Dhabi: Egypt has confirmed that a total of 115 athletes will represent the country at Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018 in Abu Dhabi.

The impressive number of athletes makes up the bulk of a 159-strong delegation, which includes 78 male players, 37 female players and 40 coaches. IX MENA Games takes place from March 14 - 22 in Abu Dhabi.

Egypt will compete across 16 sports, including athletics, swimming, cycling, table tennis, basketball and bocci.

Egypt has a strong history with Special Olympics. The north African nation started its Special Olympics movement in 1995 and hosted the first MENA regional games just four years later.

At the time, Ayman Abdul Wahab was the general manager for Special Olympics Egypt. Under his leadership Egypt launched a Special Olympics foundation which more than doubled the number of athletes taking part, from 4,500 to 15,000. Following this success, Abdul Wahab was moved to his current position of president and managing director of Special Olympics MENA.

Hanee Mahmoud, President of Special Olympics Egypt, comments: “I would like to congratulate the UAE for winning the bid to host Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 and of course the upcoming IX MENA Games Abu Dhabi 2018. I am sure the UAE will put on a hugely successful show and make every Arab across the region proud.”

The most recent MENA Games held in Egypt was in 2014 and as the host country Egypt could enter two teams for each sport. As a result, Egypt won 263 medals from its 334 players, including 75 gold, 111 silvers and 77 bronzes.

Special Olympics IX MENA Games and Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 are a part of the UAE’s National Vision 2021 that highlights full integration of people of determination into everyday society. Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will be the most ‘unified’ games in history and promise to offer an inclusive experience for those with and without intellectual disabilities.

More than 1,000 athletes from 32 countries will travel to Abu Dhabi to take part in MENA IX Games, which will be the first major sporting event ahead of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. Athletes will take part in 16 different sports that will be hosted in eight different venues including ADNEC, Zayed Sports City, Yas Marina Circuit, NYUAD, Officer’s Club, Mubadala IPC Arena, Al Jazira Sports Club and Al Forsan Club.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 will see the biggest humanitarian sporting event in the world coming to the Emirati Capital, marking its first debut in the history of the MENA region.

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About the 2019 Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi (AD2019)
Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, scheduled for March 8-22, will be the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world, with 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing more than 170 countries. The World Games will be an unprecedented display of the spirit, joy, courage and skill that are hallmarks of Special Olympics movement. The largest single event ever held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the first Special Olympics World Games in the Middle East and North Africa, the World Games features 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports in venues throughout Abu Dhabi. The spectacular Opening Ceremony on March 14 is expected to attract 45,000 spectators while being viewed by millions worldwide via global broadcast partners ESPN and Abu Dhabi Media.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the 2019 World Games will be the most unified Special Olympics competition in history, with inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in every aspect of the event. The Games are the most visible component of a planned series of initiatives by Abu Dhabi and the UAE to expand opportunity for people with disabilities, and to promote inclusion and understanding throughout the emirate, nation, and region. Plans for operation of the World Games include leaving a legacy of improved health, education, and inclusion that will benefit the UAE long after the event is over.