Six athletes from Goa participating in the 11th Special Olympics World Winter Games have won six medals in the recently concluded games in Austria. They were a part of the delegation comprising 90 athletes and 23 coaches from across India.
Ruturaj Gokuldas Sawant, Issac Moulabaksh Bijapur, Shanjur Jaicrula Nasargi and Hanumant Tammana Bhandivadar were part of the floor hockey team from India that won a gold medal at the games. Navdeep Dhaku Pavane won the gold medal in floorball. while, the lone girl athlete participating from Goa, Bibi Aisha Bijapuri, was part of the Indian women’s floor hockey team that won the bronze medal.
There are 12 schools for the mentally challenged in Goa, it is from these schools that students were chosen. The six athletes were trained and had to first participate in the nationals held in Himachal Pradesh. At the Nationals all six got selected to represent India.
Special Olympics Bharat was founded in 1987 and since 1993 has participated in the World Winter Games. The delegation returned with 37 gold, 10 silver, and 26 bronze medals.