Curtain comes down on Special Olympics World Games AD - GulfToday

Curtain comes down on Special Olympics World Games AD


Artistes preform during the closing ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Abu Dhabi: The UAE rounded off a successful Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 with an impressive medal tally as the curtain came down on the mega event on Thursday.

The seven-day event attracted athletes from around the world, which created a buzz in the sporting fraternity across the globe.

As the final curtain falls on Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi, the athletes, coaches, families and fans came together to not only celebrate successes on the field of play, but to also look forward to exciting future achievements.

Officials and dignitaries from the UAE and Special Olympics, including Sheikh Nahyan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Khalfan Mohammad Al Mazrouei, Managing Director of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi and the President of Liberia, George Weah, led the celebrations.

Held at Zayed Sports City, the spectacular closing ceremony featured amazing performances by global superstars Keala Settle and Nicole Scherzinger.

Nicole opened the show with her latest song “Victorious” written especially for the Special Olympics World Games.

The evening also saw Khaleeji idol Rashed Al Majed, Iraqi star Waleed Al Shami, and Emirati singer Hamad Al Ameri take to the stage to the delight of Arabic music fans.

The iconic stadium, which hosted the opening ceremony of the World Games Abu Dhabi just seven days earlier, witnessed athletes, coaches and delegations take part in an inspirational parade around the vast arena as representatives from 200 nations bid a fond farewell to the capital of the UAE.

A special place at the heart of the closing ceremony was reserved for the scores of volunteers whose commitment and unwavering dedication ensured the largest sports and humanitarian event of the year ran smoothly each day.

All eyes in the stadium turned to the giant screens for the World Games Abu Dhabi Legacy film. Featuring a host of athletes, fans and famous faces, the short film wonderfully summarised the seven days of sporting excellence and celebration of the human spirit by promoting a positive story for the future through unity and inclusion.

Athletes from the UAE and Sweden, alongside two Sargent Shriver Global Messengers, conducted the ceremonial handover of the Special Olympics Flag to Sweden who will host the Special Olympics World Winter Games in 2021.

The Declaration of closing saw the Flame of Hope, which had burned brightly in its cauldron at Zayed Sports City since the opening ceremony, officially passed on in a moving ritual.

The ceremony also saw the world premiere of the music video for the official song of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, ‘Right Where I’m Supposed To Be’.

The closing ceremony came to an end with a dramatic performance of ‘This is Me’, from ‘The Greatest Showman’ by Keala Settle. Supported by piano, strings and a group of dancers, Keala delivered a phenomenal, poignant, and emotional performance that was a fitting finale to truly amazing and historic World Games in Abu Dhabi as the skies above Zayed Sports City were illuminated in a wonderful display of colour and noise as thousands of fireworks shot into the air.

Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 was one of the largest, most inclusive, most unified, most diverse and most successful World Games in the history of Special Olympics.

Each of these wonderful achievements and so much more were celebrated in a huge outpouring of happiness from the artists on stage that perfectly echoed thousands of displays of joy and emotion from every athlete, coach and spectator inside the stadium.

Meanwhile, a series of social initiatives that will establish the legacy of Special Olympics World Games have been announced by dignitaries and leading figures from the UAE and Special Olympics.

Speaking as the record-breaking sporting and humanitarian event drew to a close, officials from the Higher Committee and Local Organising Committee for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 joined Dr Timothy Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, to outline how the impact of the games will be felt by communities across the UAE, the region and beyond for years to come.

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