Special Olympics Honors Queen Rania for Her Humanitarian Efforts

May 11, 2004

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Amman) The Special Olympics movement awarded Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah its most distinguished award in appreciation of her humanitarian efforts and support of athletes with special needs.

Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region Special Olympics Director Ayman Abdul Wahab, handed Queen Rania the Special Olympics International Award with Chief Chamberlain HRH Prince Ra'ad bin Zeid, president of Special Olympics Jordan attending.

During the meeting, Queen Rania discussed Special Olympics activities and efforts to promote it in the MENA region, underlining appreciation for Prince Raad’s efforts in supporting athletes with special needs in Jordan.

The international award was presented on the 35th anniversary of the Special Olympics movement which aims to provide year-round training and athletic competition for children and adults with mental retardation, giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and provide them with equal opportunities with other citizens.

Special Olympics Jordan was established n 1986 and now has over 1000 athletes competing in regional and international Special Olympics World Games and competitions.

The Special Olympics and sports for the handicapped in Jordan have always received special care and support from Their Majesties.

Last summer, Queen Rania honored athletes who won medals at the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland in which teams from over 150 nations participated. Competing in five categories, Jordan's 19 athletes, 14 of whom won medals, clinched 8 gold, 9 silver and 3 bronze medals — the biggest medal haul since Jordan started participation in the event in 1987.