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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Special Olympics Torch Run 2018 lights up Abu Dhabi 

Athletes, police and sporting stars will carry the flame around the emirate before lighting the Olympic torch at Saturday's opening ceremony 

Khalif Al Neimi and Sultan Al Khyeli proudly hold up the Special Olympic Torch in front of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Victor Besa / The National
Khalif Al Neimi and Sultan Al Khyeli proudly hold up the Special Olympic Torch in front of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Victor Besa / The National

The Special Olympics Mena Games 2018 Torch Run will be touring the city of Abu Dhabi today before heading out across the emirate and eventually lighting the Olympic torch at the opening ceremony of the Games on Saturday.

Starting early at 6.30am this morning from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the torch was scheduled to head to Heritage Flag, Emirates Palace, Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Adnec building.

The flame is being carried by Special Olympics athletes, supported by police officers from each of the emirates, and sporting celebrities.

Taking part are UAE football captain Ismail Matar and teammate Ali Khasif, Michelle Kwan, the most decorated American figure skater, and Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi woman to climb Mount Everest.

More than 1,000 athletes from 31 countries will take part in the Games.

The athletes will look to erase the isolation and stigma they face and send a strong message that no physical hurdle can steal their spirit, perseverance and courage.

The runners reach the Grand Mosque torch area with the AUH Police Horse Division as their escort. Zahra Lari, UAE figure skater, is on the left. 
Victor Besa / The National
The runners reach the Grand Mosque torch area with the AUH Police Horse Division as their escort. Zahra Lari, UAE figure skater, is on the left. Victor Besa / The National

The Special Olympics World Games are coming to Abu Dhabi next year.

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Read more:

Special Olympics football team meet Maradona ahead of Games

Special Olympics athletes feeling 'strong' as they gear up for this week's games

With just days to go, the UAE's Special Olympics athletes eye gold

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