//Skip to content

The Story Behind Egypt’s Success at the 2015 Special Olympics

February 7, 2016

By Rana Kamaly, BECAUSE Last summer, Egypt tore it up at the Special Olympics in Los Angeles, with 68 athletes winning 50 medals: Thirteen gold, twenty silver and sixteen bronze. How did these athletes manage to achieve so much, leaving behind so much of the rest of the world and their fellow Olympian colleagues? It’s a story of ongoing investment, personal strength and world-class standards. A 1996 study claims that over one and a half million people in Egypt live with a mental disability and recent figures may be even bigger. Include their families in the equation and you have a huge number of people seeking to turn the burdens experienced by intellectually disabled people into advantages. Mohamed Gaballa is 25 years old and has Down’s Syndrome. He also has two Olympic gold medals in swimming and a bronze medal in handball. Today, he’s well aware that he’s a champion but as his sister Noha says, it was not always this way. “Before [he began training], Mohamed didn’t have an aim in life. He was just dependent on everyone and envied us for having a life outside home,” says Noha….

Hi guest,

You've read all of your free articles.
Subscribe now to support independent journalism and to enjoy:

Unlimited access to all our articles

Exclusive events and offers

First access to new premium newsletters

Ability to comment on articles

Full user profile