Special Olympics World Games kick off in Abu Dhabi in breathtaking style
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the start of Special Olympics World Games 2019 at a spectacular Opening Ceremony at Zayed Sports City on Wednesday. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces officially welcomed more than 7,500 athletes and 3,000 coaches, representing 200 nations, for seven days of incredible Olympic-style sports and a celebration of the human spirit.
The SO Bharat contingent was led by Ms Shalu, Powerlifting Athlete from Punjab. The Athletes from India blended into the spectacle as the environment of celebration touched each and every one present there.
A crowd of thousands, including people of determination, Heads of State, dignitaries, VIPs, celebrities, members of the community, families and fans packed into the stadium to watch an incredible live show that weaved together the heritage of the Emirates, the spirit of the Special Olympics, the goals of the Abu Dhabi World Games and the vision of the UAE.
Anthem performed for the first time
Some of the biggest names in music delivered a thrilling rendition of the official World Games anthem ‘Right Where I’m Supposed To Be’ for the very first time. A number of widely acclaimed music stars and producers, including Greg Wells, a producer and Grammy Award-winner for ‘The Greatest Showman’ soundtrack, Ryan Tedder, lead singer of chart-topping boy band One Republic, and Quincy Jones, Honorary Executive Producer and 28-time Grammy Award-winner, came together to create the official song for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.
The song was performed by global superstar Avril Lavigne, whose song ‘Fly’ was the official anthem for the 2015 World Games, and Luis Fonsi, singer of global smash-hit single ‘Despacito’ Emirati singer and Good Will Ambassador at Large, HE Hussain Al Jassmi, Syrian superstar Assala Nasri, and star of Egypt and the Arab world, Tamer Hosny.
The new anthem is a sensational celebration of the spirit of Special Olympics and Abu Dhabi’s goal of creating a more inclusive world that truly values the contributions of every individual, regardless of ability.