Asim Zar becomes first Pakistani to win gold medal in Special Olympics 2015
The Special Olympics of 2015 began on July 25th 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Fifty-four athletes from Pakistan participated, of which Special Olympics swimmer Asim Zar secured a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle.
This is the first ever gold medal by any Pakistani athlete in the Special Olympics.
Pakistani athletes competed in various sports including Basketball, aquatics, cycling, table tennis, tennis, and badminton.
Zar finished first in the 14th division with a time of two minutes and 29 seconds. Mazhar Mehmood was in the same event but in division 10 and finished fifth with a time of 01:24.71 minutes.
Aqsa Ahmed Jangua won the silver medal by finishing second in the 50m women’s freestyle event with a time of 58.04 seconds.
In the cycling event, Mehmoona Hussain finished second in division three of the 500m time trial race. Khadija Irfan also won silver in division five of the same category.
Salman Siddiqui won bronze for the men’s side by finishing third in division 10 of the 500m time trial race.
Basketball special Olympian star Muhammad Usman scored 12 points himself to help propel Pakistan’s basketball team to victory against Portugal 23-10.
The Special Olympics is a way for athletes with disabilities to showcase their courage, determination and perseverance in sports. According to Patrick McClenahan, President and CEO of LA2015 in the Games Organizing Committee, Special Olympics change the lives of people around the world who are often mistreated and excluded from activities because of their disability.
Spectators and volunteers are able to change their preconceived notions about people with intellectual disabilities.