Record-breaking 200 delegations to participate in 2019 Special Olympic Games

2019-03-14 05:33:17 GMT2019-03-14 13:33:17(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ABU DHABI, March 13 (Xinhua) -- There will be 200 delegations participating in the upcoming Special Olympic Games Abu Dhabi 2019, a new Special Olympic Games record, among several others.

The organizing committee announced the news in a press conference held on Wednesday. 195 of the 200 will be participating delegations while the other five will be observers.

A half-century after the first-ever Special Olympic Games was held in Chicago in 1968, Abu Dhabi 2019 aims to host a "Games of Firsts" at the starting point of the next 50 years. The Special Olympic Games is also being held for the first time in the Middle East.

Over 2, 500 women will be in the game, the largest number ever. And for the first time, Saudi Arabia is sending female athletes.

As for the hosts, 320 athletes will participate for the UAE, making it the largest delegation in Abu Dhabi 2019, followed closely by Indian and American teams.

After the opening ceremony on Thursday night, 7,500 athletes in total will take part in 24 sports. The Games run until March 21st.