UPDATE – Special Olympics USA lost a close game to Great Britain Wednesday morning 26-20. More details and photos to come.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates –The Special Olympics USA basketball team has been preparing to compete at 2019 World Games Abu Dhabi for over a year, and that practice is paying off. The team from Shrewsbury, Mass. defeated Special Olympics Canada 35-18 on Tuesday with an unbelievable 3/4 court shot at the final buzzer from Matt Millett of Spencer, Mass. The team will compete against Special Olympics Great Britain at 12:30 p.m. GST (4:30 a.m. ET) on Wednesday, March 20 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
The team previously competed at Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle last July where they earned a bronze medal. Since then the team has practiced several days each week in preparation to take on international competitors. Their win on Tuesday ensured they will receive at least a silver medal, with only one game left between the team and gold. They are a traditional team, meaning that every player on the team has an intellectual disability.
The Special Olympics USA delegation is made up of over 200 athletes from 45 states, who are competing in 18 sports throughout Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. This is the first international event of this magnitude to be held in the Middle East and the largest humanitarian sports event of 2019. World Games kicked off on March 14th with a televised opening ceremony and the past week the UAE has been host to over 7,500 athletes from 192 countries, competing in 24 sports.
Highlights of the March 19 game can be found at https://bit.ly/2OclRTL. Matt Millett’s ¾ court shot is at 0:26.