The UAE Consulate in Barcelona held an event, titled, "We Walk Together," in cooperation with the "Spanish Olympic Centre for the Preparation of Professional Athletes," the "Special Olympics Committee of the Spanish Kingdom" and the "Catalan Federation of Athletes with Disabilities," coinciding with the inauguration of the Special Olympics World Games, Abu Dhabi 2019.
The event was attended by 34 Spanish athletes who will participate in the Special Olympics, as well as technical and administrative staff. The Spanish public and media praised the event and its symbolic significance for disabled people before the team began its journey to Abu Dhabi.
During a press conference, Mohammed Abdullah Al Shamsi, UAE Consul-General in Barcelona, said that the UAE's organisation of the event during the Year of Tolerance confirms the country's commitment to promoting solidarity among the entire community, and will serve as an awareness campaign to reinforce global tolerance and solidarity.
He added that tolerance and acceptance is a traditional Emirati value, whose foundations were established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who believed that strong nations cannot develop without the integration of all people. He also wished the Spanish participants luck.
Sergey Grimao, President of the Special Olympiad in Catalonia, and Ramon Terrazza, Director-General of the Spanish Olympic Centre for the Preparation of Professional Athletes in Barcelona, praised the UAE's efforts to welcome over 7,500 athletes from 190 nations during Abu Dhabi 2019, which will be held between 14th and 21st March, who will compete in 24 officially-sanctioned Olympic-style sports in the first World Games to be held in the Middle East.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs