While India's largest ever contingent winning two medals at the Rio Olympics was well reported and covered by the media, India's unprecedented performance at the Special Olympics World Games organised last year went largely unnoticed.
The Special Olympic Games, organised for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, hosted around 6,500 athletes from 177 countries. The performance displayed by Indian athletes at the event was unprecedented. With 173 medals at the event in Los Angeles, India ranked third in the tally.
The Indian contingent at the Special Olympics won 47 gold, 54 silver, and 72 bronze medals. India's performance was exceptional at athletics, where our sportspersons won 17 gold, 14 silver, and 16 bronze medals. Another 39 medals were won by the Indian contingent in roller skating, a report in India Today read.
India had won 156 medals at the previous games held in Athens, Greece in 2011. "They shine every time, and they have shone this year too. We are pleased with the performance; the medal tally has improved. They have bagged 173 from 150 something the last time around, so we are extremely proud of what they have achieved," Mukta Narain Thind, Special Olympics Bharat's national director (organisation development) told IANS, as reported by First Post.