The World Summer Games were held from June 25 to July 4.India had sent 235 athletes for the event in which 7,000 athletes from 180 countries participated. The Indian contingent was the fourth largest after Greece, US and China. India won 243 medals, including 92 gold. Special Olympics are where athletes with intellectual disabilities take part.
The Games brought some highly emotional moments for the parents of the medalists. 26 years back Manpreet from Chandigarh was declared to be mentally challenged by doctors. His parents were devasted to know that. But when Manpreet won the silver medal in the 100 metres race at the Special Olympics, their joy knew no bounds. Manpreet also attained the 4th position in Shot Put and also participated in the 400 metres relay race during the championship.
A 14-year-old mentally-challenged girl from a humble background won the Bronze medal in the 100-metre run in the Special Olympics. A total of 11 athletes from Gujarat participated in the Games from June 25 to July 4 and won six Gold, three Silver and four Bronze medals, but Yogita Rathod is different from them as she comes from a very poor background. Her father Bharat works as a mason and her mother Chandrika is a housemaid. A student of Deep Special Education Trust at Rander Road, Yogita practiced on the roads near her house and at her school prior to the Games.
Powerlifter CS Keshav made India proud by clinching two gold and two silver medals respectively. Keshav, student of Dronacharya Bhupender Dhawan and another fine product of The Gym, won the medals in the 82.5kg weight category.
Four mentally challenged girls from Mumbai also won medals at the Special Olympics. Sakhu Nagarkar bagged two gold and a silver medal in Badminton while Heena bagged a bronze in volleyball at the Olympics. Kavita Chavan got a bronze medal in handball while Mery Manda bagged silver and a bronze in cycling. They were students of the NGO ‘Children’s Aid Society’s ‘Pitruvatsalya’ institute for mentally challenged children. The institute helps in treatment, development and rehabilitation of the special children upto the age of 18.
Five athletes from Himachal Pradesh, who participated in the track and field event, won 10 medals. Pawan Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Prabha, Aman and Ranjana, all from Himachal Pradesh, won five gold, two silver and three bronze medals in individual and team categories.
There are really no words to express the greatness of their achievements. We simply salute the all the participants of the Special Olympics.