Special Olympics arrive in the UAE
One of the biggest sporting events ever staged by the UAE is set to kick off this Thursday (March 14) as the Special Olympics World Games comes to our shores.
More than 7,500 athletes representing 190 countries will be jetting into Abu Dhabi for the week-long sporting showcase being held in the capital and right here in Dubai. Some 50 years since the first Games were held in Chicago, with 1,000 competitors from 26 US states and Canada taking part, the movement founded by John F. Kennedy’s sister Eunice Shriver has grown apace.
This is the first time the Games have been held in the MENA region and fans can expect some fierce competition as athletes with determination go for gold in the 24 Olympic-style sports involved.
Dubai is playing host to two of the blue riband events of the Games, with the swimming being held at the Hamdan Sports Complex just off the Emirates Road from March 15 to 20 and the athletics set to to be staged at the Dubai Police Academy (over the road from Mall of the Emirates) from March 17 to 20.
Each event (with the exception of Thursday’s opening ceremony) is free to attend, although its wise to register for tickets before you head down.
And as Khalfan Mohammed Al Mazrouei, the Games’ managing director says, he hopes us locals will come out to cheer on both the UAE team and the visiting nations. He adds: “We have over 25 countries competing for the first time, enabling people of determination from some of the remotest parts of the world to show their talent on a global stage – their determination to participate merits our applause.”
We couldn’t have put it any better ourselves, good sir.
When: March 14-21
Where: Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Memorable moments from the archives
On this day
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Randy gets handy
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Wat a marvel
Andrew Watson makes footballing history by not only becoming the first black player to play an international but also by captaining Scotland to an incredible 6-1 demolition of England.
I predict a riot
Football ‘fans’ run riot before, during and after an FA Cup quarter final clash between Luton and Millwall. Of the 41 men arrested, most turn out to be hooligans from Chelsea and West Ham.
Disaster strikes as LOT Polish Airlines Flight 7 crashes near Okęcie Airport in Warsaw killing all 87 crew and passengers, including 22 fighters from the US amateur boxing team.
Bye Bye, Brian
One of Ireland’s greatest rugby players bows out in style as he helps his side edge out France 22-20 to secure the Six Nations Championship in his record 141st test for the men in green.
Old betts is off
Wanderers win the first-ever FA Cup Final, beating Royal Engineers 1-0 thanks to a goal from Morton Betts. Fewer than 2,000 fans showed up, most others balking at the shilling ticket price.
Transfers, records & other news to natter about
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Too posh to punch?
With less than three months to go until he squares off against Anthony Joshua in Madison Square Garden, Jarrell Miller has again questioned the three-belt Briton’s street-fighter standing. “He is from an area not known for being tough,” the Brooklyn-born Big Baby bleated. Well, we’ve been in Watford on a Friday night at kicking-out time and it ain’t pretty, Jarrell.
The bryce is right?
When the Philadelphia Phillies made it clear they wanted a marquee signing this off-season, baseball agents were rubbing their hands with glee. The result is they’ve handed a $330million (AED1.2billion), 13-year contract to slugger Bryce Harper. Yes, Harper has been one of MLB’s best players since his debut as a teenager but will they still need him when he’s 39?
The rocket’s gone potty
We’ve suspected for a while now that Ronnie O’Sullivan might be losing the plot (but thankfully not the pot) and after putting on an absolutely awful Australian accent in a post-match interview at this week’s Players Championship in Preston, The Rocket shouldn’t be waiting for calls to do a summer season in nearby Blackpool as an impersonator any time soon.