Art And Culture

Iranian Athlete Torch-Bearer at SOWSG

Iranian Athlete Torch-Bearer at SOWSG
Iranian Athlete Torch-Bearer at SOWSG

The 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games (SOWSG) opened on July 25 in Los Angeles and an Iranian athlete carried the torch at the opening ceremony at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

Young Hooryeh Golchin took a lap across the arena holding the Olympic torch on behalf of the Middle East and North Africa region, reports IRNA.

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the SOWSG are a celebration of the talents, perseverance and achievements of those with intellectual disabilities, furthering the global mission of Special Olympics. It addresses inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society.

More than 7,000 athletes from 177 nations across the world are competing in 29 fields. Iran is participating in aquatics, athletics, badminton, bocce, cycling, football, power-lifting, roller skating, and table tennis.

Special Olympics World Games take place every two years and alternate between summer and winter, a schedule similar to the Olympics and Paralympics.

This year’s event is the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games.

Held at the site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, it is expected to attract 80,000 spectators including families, guests, reporters, and photographers.

The games are supported mainly by NGOs in all member countries. The Iranian delegation is headed by Asghar Dadkhah, chairman of Iran Special Olympics and faculty member of the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences.

The contestants are from seven NGOs including Beheshtian Rehabilitation Center in Karaj, the Iranian Down Syndrome Association, Tavanyaban Rehabilitation Center in Damghan, Khorshid Support Center for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Soha Institute for People with Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and Omid Support Center in Tehran.

The games will conclude on August 2.