Some sporting events are so huge that the opening ceremony is just as exciting as the actual competition itself.
So now that the plans for the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 have been officially revealed, we’ve already got shivers of anticipation just thinking about how amazing it’s going to be.
More than 40,000 spectators are expected to be in attendance at Zayed Sports City when the competition kicks off on March 14. There’ll also be millions of people watching throughout the world, all with their eyes on Abu Dhabi.
But luckily, we know that the display will be tremendously impressive, and further prove how inclusive the event is.
Firstly, the parade will feature 7,500 athletes from more than 190 nations. Most notably, it will be the largest number of athletes and nations to ever take part in a parade at a Special Olympics Opening Ceremony.
The athletes will also be joined by a number of international celebrities and sporting heroes who are supporting the event. So make sure you keep an eye out and try to spot them.
After this, it’s time for the awe-inspiring performances, which have each been designed to encapsulate the spirit of the Olympic dream.
These displays have been created by a group of organisers known as ‘The Makers’, people of determination who have played a key role in creating and staging the opening ceremony.
They have been working hand-in-hand with a team of technical specialists and performers to make sure their vision becomes a reality at the start of one of the biggest sporting events of the year.
The power of the performances goes towards proving that Abu Dhabi has fulfilled its pledge to create the most unified games in the 50-year history of the Special Olympics.
Finally, Special Olympics UAE athletes will complete the Law Enforcement Torch Run by carrying the ‘Flame of Hope’ into Zayed Sports City and lighting a cauldron to mark the beginning of the games.
Khalfan Al Mazrouei, Managing Director of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, said: “The opening ceremony of the World Games will encapsulate the spirit, drive and passion of the athletes as they prepare to take part in
the largest sporting event ever held for sportsmen and women with intellectual disabilities.
“The ceremony will act as a dynamic and awe-inspiring display of hope, happiness, unity and inclusiveness that will project the shared message of Special Olympics, the World Games and the UAE – that people of determination are an equal and essential part of our families, our schools, our workplaces and our communities.
“Through this ceremony, we will come together and show the world that intellectual disability is no barrier to achievement.”
The opening ceremony is due to begin at 5pm on Thursday March 14.
Further details on and how you can buy tickets and where and when you can watch the ceremony will be announced soon.
Thu Mar 14, 5pm onwards. Zayed Sports City, www.abudhabi2019.org.