DUSHANBE, July 10, Asia-Plus — Tajik Special Olympics athletes will participate in the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games that will be held in Shanghai, China from October 2-11 2007. 

Dilbar Sharipova, director general of the Special Olympic Tajikistan, 27 Tajik children with disabilities in the Games.  “Tajik athletes will compete in women’s football (soccer), as well as table tennis and athletics,” Sharipova said.  

According to her, funds to pay travel of Tajik team to Shanghai and participation of the Tajik athletes in the Games will provided by President’s Reserve Fund, Tajik National Olympic Committee (NOC) and the Committee for Youth, Sports and Tourism.  

The event will mark the first time the World Summer Games will be held in Asia, and only the second time they will be held outside the United States.  In addition to almost 7,500 athletes, Special Olympics expects the 2007 World Summer Games to draw 40,000 volunteers, 3,500 event officials and thousands of families, volunteers, spectators and journalists from every continent.

Special Olympics athletes of all ability levels will compete in 25 different Olympic-type and demonstration 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 and volleyball, as well as motor activities training program. 

Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 30 Olympic-type summer and winter sports.  Special Olympics currently serves 2.5 million people with intellectual disabilities in more than 200 programs in 165 countries.