With the closing of the curtain on the Special Olympics World Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi tomorrow, the medal tally for India already stands at a whopping 229 medals with one more day left. 84 Bronze medals, 82 Silver medals, and 64 Gold medals across all the events have already been bagged, and of those medals, Goans Rupesh Kallu Banpagol and Santoshi Vijay Kauthankar have contributed three gold and four silver medals respectively in Judo. This is the first time ever that a contingent from India has represented the county in Judo.
Rupesh Kallu Banpagol won each of the three bouts in the Male Divison 20 Judo events, while Santoshi Vijay Kauthankar placed second in the four Division 11 fights that she participated in. India has performed exceptionally in the Special Olympics World Games this year, securing 4 gold medals and one silver medal in table tennis, and more medals in roller skating, squats, bench press, deadlift, among others. The Special Olympics (SO) Bharat team comprises of 378 athletes competing in over 30 different events over 6 days.
The largest humanitarian sporting event
Special Olympics World Games is the world’s largest humanitarian sporting event and a global movement which focuses on the empowerment of People of Determination with intellectual disabilities through the power of sport. The event is under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, whose leadership and vision have been instrumental in bringing together public and private sector partners to be a part of this worthy cause. Over 7,000 athletes from over 170 countries are present to compete in a series of sports, as well as a variety of initiatives and activities held across the seven Emirates.
The Local Organization Committee (an entity independent of Special Olympics UAE) was formed in 2017 to organize and prepare for the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. It is worthy to note that this same Committee organized the Special Olympics IX MENA Games 2018.