Panaji: Siya Sarode, a girl from Bhati-Sanguem, has made Goa and India proud by winning four medals in the Powerlifting event at the ongoing 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games, Berlin from June 17-25.
Siya competed against athletes from different countries and secured two gold medals in Dead Lift and Squat, one silver medal in Combined and one bronze medal in Bench Press. Siya was part of the 23-member Goan contingent that was part of the Indian team that participated in various sports such as unified Football, Futsal, Athletics, Roller Skating, Basketball, Judo, unified Volleyball and Handball at the Games.
She was joined by another Goan medalist, Taniya Ulhas Usgaonkar, a 15-year-old student of Keshav Seva Sadhana, Bicholim. She clinched a bronze medal in the 30 metres straight line roller-skating event, coming third after the Romanian pair of Mihal Arsenie and Corina Campeanu in the DO3 division at the Eisporthalle in Berlin. She will also take part in the 30m slalom competition and hopes to win another medal.
Minister for Social Welfare, Subhash Phal Dessai who is in Berlin currently congratulated Sarode. “I am so proud of our girls for winning these medals for India. Goa is immensely proud of her. Watching their determination and and domination in the game to give their best has inspired all of us and I feel great to have been here to witness this feat,” he said
“I am very proud of Siya Sarode, Taniya Usgaonkar and all the other athletes who have participated in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin. Through their participation they have proved that disability is not an obstacle, but an opportunity to excel. Siya faced a visa issue and could only reach the games with the timely intervention of the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Social Welfare Minister and South Goa collector. We are thankful to them for their support and cooperation,” said Guruprasad R. Pawaskar, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Goa
Special Olympics Bharat Goa, which is associated with Special Olympics Bharat – the National Sports Federation for Development of Sports for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities – had selected 23 sportspersons and coaches from Goa to be part of Team India. Of these 23 members, 13 were athletes, while the others were seven coaches, two partners and one assistant staff from Special Olympics Goa.
Victor Vaz, National Sports Director of Special Olympics Bharat congratulated the medalist and praised the coaches and support staff for their efforts through the coaching period and at Berlin, so that Sarode could make us all proud.
The Indian contingent consisted of 280 athletes, 54 coaches, 20 assistant staff hailing from 22 States in India. More than 7,000 athletes representing 190 delegations participated in the Special Olympics World Games 2023. Based on the unifying power of sport, the Special Olympics is a global movement that seeks to change the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Held every two years, the Special Olympics World Games Berlin represented 190 delegations in 26 different sports disciplines.