Competition and events are expected to attract more than 10,000 spectators
Special Olympics Nigeria will be among the 25 teams that will be participating in the 2022 edition of the Unified Cup.
Special Olympics Unified Sports brings together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to play on the same football team, demonstrating how playing and competing together breaks down barriers and ultimately creates communities of acceptance and inclusion.
Detroit will host the Special Olympics teams from 25 countries from July 31 to August 6, 2022.
More than 300 athletes will join to celebrate the sports and the power of inclusion through camaraderie, competition, and breaking down social barriers.
Selected Special Olympics male teams include Brazil, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Morocco, Nigeria, Paraguay, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United States of America.
Selected Special Olympics female teams will include Burkina Faso, Caribbean (Haiti, Aruba, Bahamas), Costa Rica, Egypt, Guatemala, Bharat (India), Mexico, Russia, Slovakia, Serendib (Sri Lanka), the United Arab Emirates, and the U.S.
According to the organisers, competition and events throughout the week are expected to attract more than 10,000 spectators, 1,000 volunteers, and 500 family members and dignitaries.
A primary objective of the Special Olympics Unified Cup is to reach and collaborate with professional football clubs, their foundations, and football federations to support the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities and the development of Unified Sports.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES, Adeola Oladugba, Manager, Sports Programs Special Olympics Nigeria said the opportunity to compete in Detriot with other selected countries is very gladening.
She said “Our athletes are so excited to be selected for Detroit.
“Unified Sport is one of those avenues where bonds of friendship are formed, and inclusion fostered.
“So, it means a lot to our athletes. Preparations are already in top gear as they determine to go for Gold at the games.”
In the inaugural edition held in 2018 in Chicago, Slovakia defeated Brazil, 2-1 in the women’s final while in the Men’s Final, Ecuador defeated Uruguay 1-0.
The Nigeria male team which was voted as the most exciting team of the tournament finished in the fourth position.