The 92-member team representing Greece at the Special Olympics held in Abu Dhabi last week returned to Greece on Monday full of pride, joy and emotion — and loaded down with 64 medals.
Greek officials welcomed the team at the Athens International Airport.
Greek athletes competing with athletes from 190 countries won 27 gold, 20 silver and 17 bronze medals in 14 different sporting events, ranging from football to equestrianism.
Dionysios Kondellas, the President of Special Olympics Hellas, said that the athletes showed “incomparable fighting spirit” in the competition.
“These medals belong equally to their unique, excellent coaches, who tirelessly and with professionalism prepared the athletes physically and psychologically and led them to triumph,” he added.
Deputy Minister of Sports George Vassiliadis hailed the Greek athletes’ achievement in Abu Dhabi, saying “Today we welcome our children, our athletes, the finest and best children of the Greek society, who made us proud one more time.”
The Special Olympics World Games 2019 were hosted in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, during the month of March. This marked the first time the Special Olympics had held their games in the Middle East since the movement’s founding over fifty years ago.
Special Olympics is the world’s largest humanitarian sporting event as well as a global movement which focuses on the empowerment of people with intellectual disabilities through the power of sport.