BADMINTON AT THE WORLD SPECIAL OLYMPICS
Rosa S. had always practised basketball, but two years ago, she discovered badminton. Now she practises this sport at Ciutat Esportiva de Blanes, where she trains regularly with Club Esportiu El Vilar of Fundació Aspronis. Last February, she was chosen by the Federació Acell to take part of the badminton team in the Special Olympic Games that took place in Abu Dhabi from l 14 to 21 of March.
During the previous weeks to the completion, she was very anxious with all the arrangements of the trip. He had to do some shopping to pack her suitcase; she had to check the weather in Abu Dhabi to avoid unexpected events, and counting the day to go there.
On March 8th, the badminton team went to the airport. Rosa was a bit nervous and was accompanied her coach, Anna M, all the time. Just before, boarding the plane, she told Anna that it was her first flight in her life. She was assigned a window seat next to her coach. Once the plane took off, she relaxed and she said that the moment she liked most was the landing.
Four persons compose the badminton team, so they have a close relationship. On the other hand, being a short group gave them the advantage of joining other teams, as the basketball and handball teams, in the activities organised by the Games authorities.
They did some tourism in Dubai, visiting the ancient town, some shopping centres and the skyscrapers. In the visit to the Great Mosque, they have to wear a scarf, but Rosa was ready to take it as something natural at seeing that all the women wore it during the visit.
Rosa wanted to do some shopping and she had a list of the presents she wanted to bring to her friends. In the visit to the “souk”, she bought some articles and she bought for herself a commemorative T-shirt of the Games.
Anna, Rosa’s coach, commented us that she took some days to weather to the country, but later she integrated very well with the group and she enjoyed a lot the trip.
The team was delighted with the hotel room. They were in a suite with al the imagined commodities. They said that the food was very varied, not spicy, but Rosa was particularly worried with her diet in order to be fit for the competition.
The opening ceremony was a bit long and with many breaks, but she enjoyed the parade with the rest of the athletes, mainly when she heard the music of one of her favourite singers, Luis Fonsi. She started to dance with the rest of her sport mates. Her deafness is not a barrier to carry out any type of activity.
The last match Rosa played was very exciting, because she had to win two out the three sets, she started winning the first set, but she lost the second. As it was the last competition of that evening, the athletes of other disciplines attended the match to see the end of it. Finally, Rosa won the third set of the match and she finished fourth in the final classification. She was very happy with the result!
They watched the closing ceremony of the games on the television because they had to go to the airport straightaway to return home.
According to Rosa, those were very intensive days full of very funny moments. A great experience!