Special Olympics World Games 2019 : Indian athletes finish the tournament with 368 medals
The Indian contingent at the Special Olympics Summer Games 2019 finished up with a total of 368 medals at the eight-day event. The Indian team of 284 athletes won 85 gold, 154 silver, and 129 bronze medals, with a rich haul of medals coming in powerlifting, roller skating and cycling.
The event, which was held in Abu Dhabi from 14th to 21st of March, saw Indian athletes dominating the medal haul.
Medals were won across all the disciplines like athletics, aquatics, badminton, Basketball, football, handball, and volleyball, among others. However, Indian powerlifters scripted history as they bagged 96 medals, which included 20 gold, 33 silver, and 43 bronze.
Rollerskaters won a total of 49 medals - 13 gold, 20 silver, and 16 bronze. They were closely followed by the cyclists, where India managed to win 11 gold, 14 silver, and 20 bronze medals.
The Special Olympics are held every two years and allow the athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities to participate. This year, the event saw participation from more than 7500 athletes from over the world.
With huge participation from athletes around the world, the Games are held in a unique way, where there is no medal table. The chairman of Special Olympics International, Timothy Shriver, said during a press conference when asked about the highest medal winning team, "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. So, we don’t maintain a medals table."
It was India's ninth appearance at the Special Olympics World Games, participating in 14 of the 24 Olympic type sports featuring at the World Games. The next Special Olympics Summer Games are set to be held in 2021 in Sweden, where India will definitely hope to better their performance.