26th March 2019
The Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi (March 14 – 21) set out to the biggest and best World Games to date and that is exactly what the organisers delivered on all fronts.
From start to finish it was a truly amazing event which culminated in Special Olympics Great Britain coming home amid of flurry of medals to a heroes' welcome at Heathrow.
The Special Olympics Great Britain team came home with 169 medals, 63 of them gold for the 128-strong squad.
This year, Special Olympics Great Britain sent its biggest delegation of athletes ever to compete in the World Games with athletes from all over England, Scotland and Wales, all competing across 17 sports for Gold medal glory.
They were part of more than 7,500 athletes with Intellectual Disabilities from over 190 countries competing in 28 sports over five days taking part in the Special Olympics World Games 2019 - the biggest sporting and humanitarian event of this year.
Special Olympics GB medalled in all 17 Olympic-styled sports in which it competed.
Notable performances included defending the men’s 7-a-side football crown; three more golds for Kiera Byland, the Laura Kenny inspired cyclist (adding to her three golds that she won at the Los Angeles World Games in 2015); two golds (mixed doubles and singles) for Islington tennis superstar Lily Mills and a gold on the athletics track for Ipswich 200m runner Hetty Bartlett to name but a few.
"Words cannot describe the feelings I have for the 128 athletes that make up the Special Olympic Great Britain team. They not only performed amazingly well, but they entered into the spirit of the games 110 per cent and been amazing ambassadors for Great Britain.” said Michelle Carney, CEO of Special Olympics Great Britain.
“Hearing some of the heart-breaking stories that most of these athletes have experienced in their lives and then witnessing what they have achieved in Abu Dhabi and through our weekly Special Olympics GB sport programme, makes me so proud.
“Special Olympics GB is a life-changing charity for people with Intellectual Disabilities and these World Games prove that beyond doubt.”
The team's success follows a good luck message from the Duke of Sussex, who sent a message to the Special Olympics Great Britain team on the eve of the Games.
For full athletes results please visit the Abu Dhabi World Games Website!