LEADERS, TV STARS, AND SPORTING HEROES USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR WORLD GAMES ABU DHABI

UAE, 19 March 2019: Superstar sportsmen and women, actors, singers, media personalities and world leaders have taken to social media to show their support for Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019.

With the World Games now in full swing, a host of famous and inspirational people have been mesmerized by amazing displays of sporting achievement, bravery and dedication by the 7,500 athletes in 24 Olympic-style events.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE’s Armed Forces, joined former US President Barack Obama, in expressing support for the teams on Twitter.

Sheikh Mohamed tweeted: “We are proud to inaugurate the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, the world's largest people-of-determination sporting event for which over 7,000 athletes from around the world have overcome obstacles to proudly represent their nations.”

In a message that tagged his wife, Michelle, Obama said: “@MichelleObama and I are rooting hard for Team USA as the Special Olympics World Games get underway this week. Our Special Olympians are terrific examples of America’s heart and drive.”

Sporting heroes, including former 100 meters World Record holder Usain Bolt and legendary British long-distance runner, Sir Mo Farah, each tweeted out their support for the athletes.

Usain tweeted his congratulations to Jamaican athlete, Kirk Wint, after he won silver in the 50-meter race, while Sir Mo send a message of encouragement and support to all of the athletes taking part at the World Games.

“This will be the most unified @WorldGamesAD in the history of the Special Olympics! YeezzzzZ! #MeetTheDetermined #BeUnified,” tweeted Sir Mo.

The Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, also sent a message of good luck to the Special Olympics Great Britain team. The message wished the athletes good luck, spoke of building friendships and inspiring confidence, and was read out to the athletes ahead of the Games.

British Rock ‘n’ Roll star Liam Gallagher’s tweet of support for two Team Great Britain athletes made the youngsters’ day after they won silver medals in the tennis competition.

Shortly after Jack Dickson and Ben Tyler won bronze for Great Britain, Jack’s mum Jean reached out to the former Oasis front man, who has more than three million followers on Twitter.

Explaining their achievement and how they’re such big fans of Liam’s music, she received a reply from the star in the form of “Great Work!” to which Jean replied it had “made their dreams come true.” 

Liam is known for interacting with fans on Twitter and it was not long before his followers joined the conversation – bringing a huge online audience to events in Abu Dhabi. 

US pop star Avril Lavigne, who performed at the spectacular Opening Ceremony, said on Twitter: “It was such an honor performing the new @SpecialOlympics anthem with @LuisFonsi and many other incredible musicians at the Special Olympics @WorldGamesAD Opening Ceremonies! Good luck everyone #MeetTheDetermined.”

Sharan Sunner