The spirit of competition was in full swing during day one of the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. Thousands of athletes engaged in their first steps towards fulfilling their dreams of becoming Special Olympics champions. One of those athletes is Special Olympics Cuba’s, Yaritza Parrado Fernandez.
Yaritza picked a gold medal in powerlifting, competing in the Combined Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift by lifting a total weight of 245.44 kg. Yaritza’s gold medal is her first World Games medal and the first gold medal awarded in the 2019 Games. Also medaling in the competition were Special Olympics Azerbaijan’s Aytaj Samadova who took home the silver medal and Special Olympics Bharat’s Manali Manoj Shelke who took home the bronze medal.
There are 24 Olympic-style sports in nine venues across Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In the coming days, medals will be awarded in: Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Bocce, Bowling, Cycling, Equestrian, Football, Golf, Gymnastics - Artistic, Gymnastics - Rhythmic, Handball, Judo, Kayaking, Open Water Swimming, Powerlifting, Roller Skating, Sailing, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Triathlon, and Volleyball.