2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games
|Host city||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates|
|Motto||Meet the Determined |
(Arabic: تلبية العزم)
|Opening ceremony||March 14|
|Closing ceremony||March 21|
|Officially opened by||Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan|
|Main venue||Zayed Sports City Stadium|
The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games (Arabic: 2019 الألعاب الأولمبية الصيفية الخاصة بألعاب العالم الصيفية, 2019 al'aleab al'uwlimbiat alsayfiat alkhasat bi'aleab alealam alsayfia) were a special olympics multi-sport event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in the tradition of the Special Olympics movement. It was held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from March 14–21, 2019. ESPN offered international coverage of the games.
The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games was the first Special Olympics games to take place in the Middle East, were also the first to be held in winter/autumn in the host city and the largest sports and humanitarian event recorded, featuring 200 National Programs, more than 7,000 athletes and 20,000 registered volunteers. Since 2017 and following its national policy, the United Arab Emirates coined the term "determination" instead of "disability", referring to disabled people as "People of Determination".
Three finalists were chosen from the countries which had submitted bids to host the games: Australia, Germany (which was chosen latter to host the 2023 Games), and South Africa. However, all three countries had withdrawn their bids by April 2015.
In November 2016,it was announced that the Emirate of Abu Dhabi would host the 2019 Summer Games. This was the first time that the Special Olympics were to be held in the Middle East / North Africa Region. Due to the region's extreme climate, the games were held during the local late winter/early spring season for the first time, from March 14–21, 2019.
It was held at Zayed Sports City Stadium which also held the FIFA Club World Cup in 2017 and 2018 and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.The headliners of the ceremonies included Avril Lavigne, Hussain Al Jassmi, Assala Nasri, Tamer Hosny, Paul Oakenfold, Sumi Jo, Now United, and Luis Fonsi.
The closing ceremony took place on 21 March 2019 at the Zayed Sports City Stadium where the Special Olympics flag was handed over from Abu Dhabi to Jämtland County, Sweden as the hosts of the 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games. The headliners of the ceremonies were Nicole Scherzinger, Keala Settle, Now United, Hamad Al Ameri, Rashed Al Majed and Waleed Al Shami. Before the ceremonies the music video of the game's theme song "Right Where I'm Supposed To Be" by Ryan Tedder, Avril Lavigne, Luis Fonsi, Hussain Al Jassmi, Assala Nasri and Tamer Hosny was premiered.
Events were held at nine venues across two emirates:
- Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre
- Abu Dhabi Sailing and Yacht Club
- Al Forsan Resort
- Yas Links Golf Club
- Yas Marina Circuit
- Zayed Sports City
- Dubai Police Club Stadium
- Hamdan Sports Complex
- Beach Volleyball
- Gymnastics (artistic)
- Gymnastics (rhythmic)
- Open Water Swimming
- Roller Skating
- Table Tennis
Logo and branding
The logo was unveiled on March 25, 2017 during the handover at the closing ceremony of the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Graz, Austria. The logo was projected on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The logo was inspired by palm fronds woven together in an eastern Arabian cultural technique known in Gulf Arabic as khoos (Arabic: خوص), with the Special Olympics symbol in a red circle in the middle.
- Abu Dhabi Global Market
- Crescent Petroleum
- EF Education First
- Ernst & Young
- Golisano Foundation
- Lions Clubs International
- Marriott International
- Perfect Sense
- Pierce Footwear
- Prometheus Medical
- Safilo Group
- SAS Institute
- Starkey Hearing Foundation
- Starkey Hearing Technologies
- Al Sahraa
- Dubai Airports Company
- Emirates Palace
- Falcon Drones
- Flow Solutions
- Hadef and Partners
- iSpatial Techno Solutions
- Khateb and Alami
- Liberty Sport
- Riedel Communications
- SEDRA Foundation
- Salem Al Shueibi Jewelry
- Transportation Management Services
- SAP SE (Tyconz)
- Smart Design
- Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs
Host, Broadcast, Media, Government and Venue Partners and Supporters
- Staff Report (16 November 2016). "Abu Dhabi to host 2019 Special Olympic World Games".
- Couch, Teri (2019-03-18). "Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019: Monday, March 18". ESPN MediaZone U.S. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
- Jerusalem Post (9 March 2019). "United Arab Emirates to be First in Middle East to Host Special Olympics".
- "2019 Special Olympics World Games Finalists Announced". Special Olympics (specialolympics.org). Retrieved 14 February 2013.
- "World Games in MENA for the First Time". specialolympics.org.
- "Venues". English. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
- "Delegations". 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games Organizing Committee. Archived from the original on 2015-07-24. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- "Special Olympics Bharat".
- "Special Olympics Republic of the Congo Brazzaville".
- "Special Olympics Sri Lanka".
- "Abu Dhabi Launches Countdown to Special Olympics World Games 2019". broadwayworld.com. 27 March 2017. Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.