15th March 2019
ELECTRIFYING AND INSPIRING OPENING CEREMONY SIGNALS START OF SPECIAL OLYMPICS WORLD GAMES ABU DHABI 2019
A crowd of thousands, including people of determination, Heads of State, dignitaries, VIPs, celebrities, members of the community, families and fans packed into the stadium to witness an incredible event that bought together the heritage of the Emirates, the spirit of the Special Olympics.
Thousands of people including Families,Friends and Volunteers queing for the opening ceremony
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the start of Special Olympics World Games 2019 at a spectacular Opening Ceremony at Zayed Sports City. The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces officially welcomed more than 7,500 athletes and 3,000 coaches, representing 200 nations, for seven days of incredible Olympic-style sports and a celebration of the human spirit. A crowd of thousands, including people of determination, Heads of State, dignitaries, VIPs, celebrities, members of the community, families and fans packed into the stadium to watch an incredible live show that weaved together the heritage of the Emirates, the spirit of the Special Olympics, the goals of the Abu Dhabi World Games and the vision of the UAE.
Etihad Airways, the official airline partner of the World Games, took to the skies and released the UAE flag colours of red, green, white and black as it flew past Zayed Sports City Stadium.
In a moment of incredible pride, joy and excitement, teams of athletes from the competing countries paraded into Zayed Sports City to a stirring and empowering chorus of cheers and claps from the crowd.
Following incredible performances, a speech from Tim Shriver (son of founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver), the raising of the UAE and Special Olympics flags as well as the oath recitals it was time for the Torch Runners to take their final leg of their two week journey into the stadium. Aboard a floating disc, the Flame of Hope entered the Opening Ceremony and was passed on to a group of athletes who lit the cauldron marking the start of the Special Olympics World Games! H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, officially declared the Games open in breathtaking style.