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
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 Special Olympics World Games are coming to Abu Dhabi next year.
Updated: March 14, 2018 11:52 AM