World summer games Shanghai 2007
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Shanghai Olympic games in 2007

A great event took place in Shanghai in 2007. There were Shanghai Special Olympic World Summer Games in 2007 for people who have intellectual disabilities.

This event was held in Asia for the first time and it was only the second time they were held beyond the borders of the United States of America. It was organized by the Special Olympics.

Special Olympics and Paralympics are two separate international organizations that aim to encourage intellectually disabled people participate in sports competitions and be productive members of society. It is the main organizer of Special Olympic World Games held every 4 years, offering adults and children participating in 25 summer and winter competitions. The most interesting fact is that this influential and respective organization was founded by a simple Physical Training teacher in the USA! Now the influence of this organization spreads far beyond the measures of its birthplace.

A great number of people from all the continents came to Shanghai to participate or just to look at the competitions. 7,500 special athletes attended Special Olympic World Summer Games, including the best of the 2.5 million athletes who competed in 165 countries to take part in the games. They became a persuasive proof of the fact that Special Olympics is for those people who were capable to overcome their disabilities. A lot of officials, families, volunteers, spectators and journalists were also present at this contest.

All participants were divided into 6 groups according to their disability categories:

1. Amputee: Athletes with a partial or total loss
2. Cerebral Palsy: Athletes with non-progressive brain damage or similar disabilities effecting muscle control, balance or coordination.
3. Intellectual Disability: Athletes with a significant impairment in intellectual functioning and associated limitations in adaptive behavior.
4. Wheelchair: Athletes with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities which require them to compete in a wheelchair.
5. Visually Impaired: Athletes with vision impairment ranging from partial vision to total blindness.
6. Les Autres: Athletes with a physical disability that does not fall strictly under one of the other five categories (the name for this category is the French for "the others").


Special Olympics athletes of categories competed in 25 different sports:


aquatics
athletics
badminton
basketball
bocce
bowling
cricket
cycling
dragon boat racing
equestrian
football (soccer)
golf
gymnastics
judo
kayaking
lion dancing
power-lifting
roller skating
sailing
softball
table tennis
team handball
tennis
volleyball
motor activities.

The Shanghai Olympic Games 2007 helped to disable people realize their full potential. The Chinese government was very much concerned about the conditions of the participants' living and tried to do everything possible to make them feel comfortable and cozy there. It is considered to be a step to create the harmonious society with kind-heartedness and solidarity.

As to the next (13th) Special Olympics World Summer Games, they will pass in 2011 in Athens, Greece.

You can find additional information on our site 2007 Special olympic games