Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1267, (22 - 28 October 2015)
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1267, (22 - 28 October 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Egypt can

In an unprecedented achievement, the council of ministers has agreed that Egypt bid to host the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, Abeer Anwar reports

Al-Ahram Weekly

Egypt is the first Arab and African country to try to host the Special Olympics World Summer Games.

This huge event was held in the United States from 1968 to 1999, then went to Ireland in 2003, China in 2007, Greece 2011, then back to Los Angeles in 2015. Egypt in its long history has never submitted a bid to host a World Summer Games, neither for able-bodied athletes nor for the disabled, so to do so would show how Egypt is paying special attention to this often marginalised segment of society.

Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali was the first to back the idea of Egypt’s bid for the Summer Games. “Such events will shift the world’s eyes to Egypt, will attract more tourists and will show the real resources and capabilities of Egyptians.”

Khaled Abdel-Aziz, minister of youth and sports, said the benefits from hosting such a tournament “will be great” since Los Angeles spent only $65 million while the profit was $415 million. “The infrastructure and the sports facilities that Egypt have can support its chances to win the right to hold such a big event.”

“I can’t express my happiness that the council of ministers agreed on our bid,” said Ayman Abdel-Wahab, Special Olympics Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region managing director and president.

“I am sure we are capable of organising such an event as we have all the needed resources.” Abdel-Wahab said the SO MENA organisation of the 2014 Regional Games attended by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi “will greatly back our bid”.

At the end of December an inspection committee from Special Olympics will come to visit Egypt and check the sports facilities available. The country chosen to host the 2019 World Summer Games will be announced in February 2016.

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