Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi honored Egypt’s women squash team and the unified women football team following their win in the World Championship and Special Olympics, respectively.
The squash team,consisting of No.1 Nour el-Sherbini, a two-time world individual champion, world No.2 Raneem el-Welily, No.3 Nour el-Tayeb and back then No.6 Nouran Gohar, now ranked world number 8, was seen photographed with their medals and national team outfits.
Sherbini posted several photos on her official Facebook page saying, “Received the Egyptian Medal of Honor from the first degree for excelling in Sports alongside the girls for winning the World Championships in China last September. #egypt #medal #pride #nourelsherbini.”
The Egyptian Presidency Spokesperson Bassam Radi also posted photos of the ceremony, showing Sisi with both the squash champions and the football champions.
Earlier this morning, Egypt’s presidency spokesperson Bassam Radi announced that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will honor on Thursday Egypt’s national squash team, who won the World Championship.
Simultaneously, Sisi will also honor the women football team who achieved third place in the Special Olympics Unified Cup, earning bronze in a historical feat.
Back in September, the Egyptian team beat England in the final round of the CGG WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship which took place in China,securing gold.
The national squash team of Egypt is considered one of the strongest worldwide, as they have several titles under heir belts both as a team and as individuals, including CGG WSF Women’s World Team Squash Championship champions of 2017.
The Special Olympics Unified Cup took place in Chicago between 17 and 22 July. The Egyptian women’s football team qualified to the semi-final round of the tournament after smashing Mexico, achieving an impressive 5-1 victory.
Before that, the girls started strong, defeating South Korea 4-0 in their opening match before proceeding to win 3-0 against India.
However, Egypt lost to Brazil in the semi-final match, which took place on July 20.
The Egyptian team qualified for the tournament after being crowned as Special Olympics Female Unified MENA’s Regional Cup champions last December, where three Arab countries vied for the qualification: The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Tunisia and Egypt.
Egypt is the only Middle Eastern country to qualify for the women’s competition, while the UAE’s men football team was the only other qualifier from the region.
The Special Olympics Unified Cup took place for the first time ever this year as part of the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics celebrations. The tournament is held under the slogan “Inclusion Revolution- Play Unified-live Unified.”
The Special Olympics Organization (IOC) dates back to 1968, and is considered the world’s largest sports entity that prioritizes athletes with intellectual disabilities.
There have also been world events to celebrate champions with disabilities in different sports, most prominently the Paralympics and the Special Olympics World games. While the Paralympics focuses more on physical disabilities, the Special Olympics addresses the inclusion of athletes with intellectual impairments.
Egyptian athletes have always excelled in competitions for people with special abilities. In 2017, Egypt won two medals in the Special Olympics World Winter Games. More recently, Egypt swooped 96 medals in Abu Dhabi’s Special Olympics MENA Games in February 2018.