Muscat – Oman’s Paralympic Sailing team will join more than 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 190 countries in Berlin, Germany, for the 16th Special Olympics World Games to be held from June 17-25. Mohammed al Wahaibi and Saleh al Raisi will represent Oman in the RS Toura dinghy as part of a 32-strong fleet. The team will be coached by Ali al Shuhaimi.
Speaking ahead of the team’s departure for Germany, Al Shuhaimi said, “We are very proud to continue supporting the Special Olympics World Games and participate for the first time under the SailFree banner. Oman Sail has made sailing accessible for everyone in communities across Oman and this is a chance to join sailors from around the world in celebrating our joy for a life on the water while representing Oman at the world’s largest sports movement for people with intellectual disabilities.”
Sailing joins 25 other disciplines for nine days of inspiring competition which proves that sport is accessible for all and is capable of achieving greater recognition and social participation of people with intellectual disabilities in society.
Racing will be held at the Seglerhaus am Wannsee club, the second oldest sailing club in Germany. The competition will see sailors with the same abilities compete in the Divisioning stage, scheduled for the first two days. The leading sailors will then advance to the preliminary competition where the winners over those two days will qualify for the final medal races on June 24.
The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports movement for people with intellectual disabilities, with more than 5 million athletes in 174 countries, and is officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Held every two years, the Special Olympics World Games has been changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities since being first held in Chicago, USA, in 1968. As well as sport, the Special Olympics World Games also supports people with intellectual disabilities through health, education, and skills development programs.