A 139-member Bangladesh contingent will fly for Abu Dhabi on March 8 to take part in the Special Olympics World Summer Games with the hope of grabbing a haul of medals like the previous editions.
The contingent comprises of 103 intellectually disabled athletes alongside unified athletes (28), who will partner the disabled athletes during the games in nine disciplines -- swimming, athletics, badminton, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, bocce, football (men's and women's) and handball (men's and women's), to be played from March 14 to 21.
Bangladesh won 18 gold, 22 silver and 18 bronzes in the 2015 edition of the games in USA.
“We expect the boys and girls will win 15 to 20 gold medals as they have worked hard in training in the last two months,” head of delegation and Special Olympic Bangladesh's treasurer Nurul Alam said at a press conference. “These special children have been picked through a talent hunt programme across the country and then they were given training ahead of the national competitions. Considering their performance in national competitions, they were finally picked for the Special Olympic Games”
Dr Shamim Matin Chowdhury, the president of Special Olympics Bangladesh, urged corporate houses to come forward to sponsoring the children under social corporate responsibility as they have been struggling to run the training camp.