By Okpuzor Ezekiel
Special Olympics Nigeria (SON) athletes returned victorious from the 2019 World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi with 63 medals.
At a welcome reception held in their honour on Tuesday in Lagoa, the athletes and officials were celebrated for being resilient, tenacious and exhibiting good sportsmanship.
At the World Summer Games, athletes from over 190 countries including Nigeria participated in Athletics, Badminton, Unified Basketball, Cycling, Unified Football, Swimming, Table Tennis and Unified Volleyball.
Chairman of Special Olympics Nigeria, Gbolade Osibodu expressed his happiness with the performance of the team.
“I am proud to inform you that we returned home with 63 medals, 32 gold, 21 silver, and 10 bronze medals.
These numbers may sound odd but in Special Olympics we celebrate individual athletes and not the event.
Therefore, the medals are not counted as per sport but as per athletes,” he noted.
Osibodu said he was very grateful to the coaches, caregivers and the medical personnel for their dedication and hard work.
He also extended his appreciation to all the sponsors of SONigeria like, Union Bank of Nigeria PLC, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Globacom Limited and others for making the game a reality for the athletes with intellectual disability.
“Parents should involve their children and encourage them to participate in Special Olympic Games ahead of upcoming competition locally and internationally,” Osibodu concluded.