The Indian team won 202 medals (including 76 Gold, 75 Silver, 51 Bronze) in Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 held in Berlin, Germany from 17th June 2023 to 25th June 2023.
- The Berlin 2023, the 16th edition Special Olympics World Games Berlin witnessed the participation of 7000 special Olympic Athletes from around 190 countries competing in 26 sports.
Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023:
Special Olympics is a sports event conducted every two years, alternating with Summer and Winter Games for the people with intellectual disabilities. For the first time since its inception, the Special Olympics were staged in Germany.
2023 Mascot: Named as ‘Unity’, it represents the emotions the athletes feel about the World Games: joy, togetherness, pride, and excitement.
2023 Motto: ‘unbeatable together’
The next edition of the Special Olympics ‘Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary 2024’ will be held from 27th February 2024 to 2nd March 2024 in Calgary, Canada.
History of Special Olympics:
i.Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics, invited young people with intellectual disabilities to the Sporting event called ‘camp Shiver’ in her Backyard in 1962.
ii.The 1st International Special Olympics Games were held in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America (USA) in 1968.
Highlights of Special Olympics 2023:
i.Indian Athletes won six medals in the track events (including 2 Gold, 3 Silver and 51 Bronze).
- Aanchal Goyal (400m, Level B Female) and Ravimathi Arumugam (400m, Level C Female) won gold medals for India in track events.
ii.Saket Kundu won a silver medal in the mini javelin Level B and a bronze medal in the Level B 400m event.
iii.India’s Saraswati won a gold medal in the 500m roller skating race event.
iv. Indian Pair Ranveer Saini and Rahul Agarwal won gold medal in the Level-1 golf event.
v. In the finals of the U21-D3 Table Tennis event, India’s Vighnesh Lokeshwar Naik defeated India’s Gunocean Singh Bedu to win gold.
- In the women’s singles 30-D3 Table Tennis event, Alivelamma Gujjala secured gold.
vi. Siya Sarode won four medals including a gold medal in Squat, a bronze medal in Bench Press, silver medals in Deadlift, and Combined Event.
vii. Suhalia Parveen won silver as India’s first medal in the Judo event at the Special Olympics.
Special Olympics Bharat:
Special Olympics Bharat is a sports body representing India at the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
- It is recognized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports(MoYAS), Government of India as a National Sports Federation, for development of Sports for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.
i.The Indian team, represented by 198 athletes participating across 16 sports events, had a send-off ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, Delhi on 9th June 2023.
ii.Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur an Union Minister Smriti Irani, Ministry of Women and Child Development & Ministry of Minority Affairs, participated as the chief guest for the send-off ceremony.
iii.To spread the message about the Special Olympics, Special Olympics Bharat organised ‘The Flame of Hope’, a torch rally that started on May 26 from Delhi and reached Delhi on June 9, 2023.
iv.MoYAS has allotted an amount of Rs 7.7 Crore to the Indian team for the participation in the Special Olympics 2023.This was the highest allotment for Special Olympics so far.
Ambassadors of Special Olympics Bharat:
i.Film Star Ayushmann Khurrana acted as the Goodwill Ambassador for Special Olympics Bharat to support and encourage the Indian team members.
ii.Indian Cricketer Yuvraj Singh also the Goodwill Ambassador for Special Olympics Bharat.
iii.Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, has supported the special OlympicsIndian team.
- It provided material assistance to the entire Indian contingent of athletes, coaches and officials for their training, equipment, wearables, accessories and other administrative requirements to ensure the Indian team’s participation and performance.
About Special Olympics:
Founder – Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Established – 1968