Abu Dhabi LOC hosts representatives from the LOCs for Sweden 2021 and Berlin 2023 alongside Special Olympics International to share knowledge and learnings
Abu Dhabi, 2nd May 2019: The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 is conducting meetings with key officials from Special Olympics International, Berlin and Sweden this week to help ensure the next World Games are a huge success, building on the legacy of the largest and most unified Games in the 50-year history of Special Olympics, which took place in Abu Dhabi this March.
The LOCs of Sweden 2021 World Winter Games and Berlin 2023 World Summer Games are in Abu Dhabi where they are being hosted by LOC of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 for a two-day program of knowledge transfer sessions.
The program will cover various topics through a series of workshops and discussions that look at what made the recent World Games such a success, promoting an inclusive world and creating a long-lasting legacy.
The Abu Dhabi World Games welcomed a record breaking 200 nations - the biggest number of participating nations for a World Games. This included 22 new delegations from Africa, Asia-Pacific, North America, the Middle East and North Africa, who were participating for the first time, and 5 observer nations.
The largest sports and humanitarian event of the year saw the UAE embrace societal change for people of determination and captured the hearts of millions worldwide through digital media and innovative technology.
Among the important points of discussion will be the unparalleled scale of the Games in Abu Dhabi, the extraordinary community engagement across the nation, and the unprecedented levels of awareness achieved around the world for the Special Olympics movement.
Khalfan Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Managing Director of Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, says: “Hosting key officials from Special Olympics International and the Local Organizing Committees of the Sweden 2021 and Berlin 2023 World Games in Abu Dhabi is a crucial opportunity for us to share key learnings from this event and opportunities to capitalize on its success in the future.
“As an LOC, our priority has always been to create positive societal change for people of determination across the world. While the World Games are over, the UAE’s commitment to the importance of building a more inclusive world will continue, and this begins by helping future LOCs to ensure the next editions of the World Games are a success.”
At Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, a total of 7,069 athletes and 1,052 unified partners competed in 24 officially sanctioned Olympic-style sports across 10 venues in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Lou Lauria, Global Chief of Games and Competitions, Special Olympics International, says: 'The Abu Dhabi 2019 World Games were outstanding, with the Local Organizing Committee producing best in class planning. A key part of their strong legacy is the transfer of knowledge to the future hosts in Sweden 2021 and Berlin 2023. This will help to provide the consistency and quality that is needed to ensure that our athletes and our movement continue to benefit from Abu Dhabi 2019.'
Karin Riddar, Head of Operations, Special Olympics World Winter Games Sweden 2021, says: 'It is with great respect that we arrange the World Games after Abu Dhabi, there has been great progress here that we want to manage well when the games comes to Sweden. Special Olympics World Winter Games 2021 in
Åre and Östersund will of course be something completely different - it's winter, there are other sports, fewer participants. However, we are happy to continue the task of building a more inclusive society, and we are convinced that we also will create incredible sports experiences and the wonderful joyful atmosphere of personal victories.'
Sven Albrecht, CEO, Special Olympics Germany, said: 'We are very thankful for the great exchange and the unique possibility to learn from all the experience of the LOC. It us our aim to continue the successful path and to create an inclusive society in the Unified City of Berlin, Germany and globally.”
The World Games official app, the first of its kind, proved to be a big hit with more than 27,000 downloads, whilst more than 100,000 people from around the world enjoyed watching the Opening Ceremony in 360 degree Virtual Reality.
The World Games received unprecedented media coverage from local, regional and international broadcast stations, with 60 broadcasters across 183 nations reaching more than 760 million households.
The Volunteer Program, which is the largest volunteer effort to date in the Middle East, exceeded expectations, with 21,638 people registering to help stage the Games.