Special Olympics Torch Run 2018 lights up Abu Dhabi

Athletes, police and sporting stars will carry the flame around the emirate before lighting the Olympic torch at Saturday's opening ceremony

Abu Dhabi, UAE.  March, 14, 2018.  Law Enforcement Torch Run, Final Leg for Special Olympics.   Khalif Al Neimi and Sultan Al Khyeli proudly holds up the torch infront of the Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque.
Victor Besa / The National

The Special Olympics Mena Games 2018 Torch Run will be touring the city of Abu Dhabi today before heading out across the emirate and eventually lighting the Olympic torch at the opening ceremony of the Games on Saturday.

Starting early at 6.30am this morning from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the torch was scheduled to head to Heritage Flag, Emirates Palace, Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Adnec building.

The flame is being carried by Special Olympics athletes, supported by police officers from each of the emirates, and sporting celebrities.

Taking part are UAE football captain Ismail Matar and teammate Ali Khasif, Michelle Kwan, the most decorated American figure skater, and Raha Moharrak, the first Saudi woman to climb Mount Everest.

More than 1,000 athletes from 31 countries will take part in the Games.

The athletes will look to erase the isolation and stigma they face and send a strong message that no physical hurdle can steal their spirit, perseverance and courage.

Abu Dhabi, UAE.  March, 14, 2018.  Law Enforcement Torch Run, Final Leg for Special Olympics.  The runners reach the Grand Mosque torch area with the AUH  Police Hose Division as their escort.  (Left) Zahra Lari, UAE figure skater.
Victor Besa / The National

The Special Olympics World Games are coming to Abu Dhabi next year.

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With just days to go, the UAE's Special Olympics athletes eye gold

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