Abu Dhabi, March 22: Abu Dhabi said good bye to the 15th Special Olympic World Summer Games, the first one of its kind held in the Middle East, with a closing ceremony full of moving moments here on Thursday night.
Global superstar Nicole Scherzinger started the night with her latest song "Victorious" written especially for the Special Olympics World Games. Timothy Shriver, Chairman of the Special Olympics, stepped on the stage.
"Life is tough, sometimes, the world can seem cruel," Shriver said to the athletes. "So be tough, be tougher than the tough, be stronger than the strong, be you, and be free." Representatives of 20,000 volunteers standing on the middle stage, received cheers from the whole Zayed Sports City, as their hard work guaranteed the operation of the event.
The whole stadium paid attention on the big screen where a World Games Abu Dhabi Legacy film was showing. In different part of the film titled with "emotion", "confidence", "harvest" and so on, demonstrated the bravery, tears and smiles of the athletes in the last seven days.
"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt." The voice of Special Olympics founder, Timothy Shriver's mother Eunice Kennedy Shriver was echoed in the stadium, followed by the music video for the official song of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, "Right Where I'm Supposed To Be."
Representatives from the UAE and Sweden joined in the handover of the Special Olympics flag to Sweden where the 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games will be held. The emotions and atmosphere reached another level as the cauldron carried the Flame of Hope began to subside to underground. The sky was lit by fireworks and the song "This is Me" sang by Keala Settle put an amazing end to the ceremony.
The 2019 Special Olympic World Summer Games witnessed recording-breaking 200 delegations gathering to be part of the event. Approximately 7,500 athletes participated in 24 sports with the assist of 3,000 coaches. This is the ninth time for China to send a delegation to summer Special Olympics World Games. 104 athletes taking part in 10 sports including athletics, swimming and football brought home 60 golds, 61 silvers and 37 bronzes, along with friendship and confidence.
This is also the tournament with most female athletes participating. More than 2,500 women joined in the games including the first-ever 14 female athletes sent to the event by Saudi Arabia.