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Abu Dhabi hosts the Middle East's first Special Olympics World Games

 
A wind of change is blowing in the Middle East... as Abu Dhabi is hosting the first Special Olympics ever to be held in the region.
 
Won Jung-hwan tells more.
 
More than seven-and-a-half-thousand athletes from over one-hundred-90 countries are carrying with them a hunger for inclusion and dignity that burns within us all.
 
The Special Olympics World Games kicked off in Abu Dhabi on Thursday evening,… marking the first time the global event dedicated to people with intellectual disabilities is being held in the Middle East in its 50-year history.
 
While 24 Olympic sports events will be held over the next week,… the event itself hopes to shine a light on the abilities and accomplishments of people who have been marginalized around the world.
 
The quadrennial event will hopefully spark much-needed action to end the discrimination, abuse and neglect the athletes and millions of others have faced,... by offering a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through sports.
 
Among those participating this year,... South Korea has sent its largest ever delegation -- a total of 151 athletes and staff members.
 
abudhabi hosts special olympics
 
The athletes are those who have certain limitations in cognitive functioning and skills, including communication, social and self-care skills.
 
According to the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities,… approximately two percent of the global population has an intellectual disability -- as many as 200 million people.
 
Fifty years after the Special Olympics began in Chicago, the movement continues to strive for a better world.
More importantly, the first ever hosting in the Middle East shows more and more people are coming together in respecting the needs and potential of people with intellectual disabilities.
 

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