Namibia grabs gold at ongoing Special Olympics

Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities
Kirk Wint of Jamaica (L) competes in the Special Olympics’s men’s 50 Meter event at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on March 17, 2019. (Photo by – / AFP)

Namibia’s marathon trouper, Ruben Gowaseb has stolen the show at the ongoing World Summer Games clinching Namibia’s first gold medal at the tournament in Abu Dhabi , United Arab Emirates. 

Reuben, at an advanced age of 40 for an athlete, appears to be getting faster with age. He showed his challengers a clean pair of heels in the division four of the men’s marathon which he finished in 1 hour, 46 minutes and 33 seconds.

Meanwhile, Namibia , continues to excel in the tournament as Namibia’s unified basketball team representing the country at the games also gave a good account of themselves when they won two of their three opening matches.

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The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, currently taking place in the United Arab Emirates, started Thursday and will end on 21 March, with a total of 170 countries and 7 000 athletes competing in various sport codes. 

Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to five million athletes and Unified Sports partners in 172 countries.

Like the International Paralympic Committee, the Special Olympics organization is recognized by the International Olympic Committee; however, unlike the Paralympic Games, Special Olympics World Games are not held in the same year or in conjunction with the Olympic Games.

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The Special Olympics World Games alternate between summer and winter games, in two-year cycles, recurring every fourth year. The first games were held on July 20, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois, with about 1000 athletes from the U.S. and Canada. 

International participation however expanded in subsequent games. In 2003, the first summer games were held outside the United States in Dublin, Ireland with 7000 athletes from 150 countries. The most recent World Summer Games were held in Los Angeles, California in 2015. 

This year’s games in Abu Dhabi is the first Special Olympics World Games to be held in the Middle East.

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