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Indian squad set for Special Olympics event in Chicago

Jul 12, 2018

The event celebrates fifty years of Special Olympics, a global inclusive movement.

New Delhi: A female football team comprising of six Indian athletes who are suffering from intellectual disability and five mainstream athletes from the country were given an a rousing send-off in New Delhi.

The team has been training hard since March 2018, and is gearing up for a global competition at the Unified Cup being held in Chicago (SOUFC- 2018). The Unified Football Cup is a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics.

The participants and coaches arrived from the states of Delhi, Goa, Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala and Rajasthan to depart for the big event where they will represent India.

Star Indian boxer, MC Mary Kom, who was present at the event, said, “Special Olympics Unified Sports is a great initiative and it is amazing that the women from our country will be representing our nation at the Unified Cup 2018. Wishing the entire team all the very best for the games.”

Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal said, “The athletes representing our country from the Special Olympics Bharat team are extremely special and have undergone immense training. It takes a lot of bravery and effort to do what this team does. ”

The preparation and participation of the Indian contingent from Special Olympics Bharat is being supported by Herbalife Nutrition, a company that has partnered with Special Olympics Bharat to train and develop athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Ajay Khanna, Vice President and Country Head, Herbalife Nutrition India, said, “We are happy to partner with the Indian contingent to bring the sporting glory to our country.”

Air Marshal (Retd) Denzil Keelor, PVSM, KC, AVSM, VrC, Founder & CEO, SO Bharat said, “This is a glorious year for Special Olympics as it marks 50 years of the global inclusive movement. I would like to wish my best to all the participating athletes and unified partners.”

The Unified Cup Chicago will be held from 17-20 July 2018.  Around 24 teams (16 male and 8 female) will be participating including India, China, France, Germany, United States and Uruguay.

While the male teams will be playing the 11-a-side competitions, the Unified female teams will clash in 7-a-side matches.

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