Botswana's Special Olympics team is leaving for Los Angeles, USA on Monday to compete at the Special Olympics Games. Botswana has started participating in the Special Olympics since 1991, and every four years they have always made sure that they sent representatives. The current team comprises of 40 athletes. They consist of both the men and ladies volleyball team; men football team; five athletes for mini marathon (21 km); six for track and field events and two boys and two girls for swimming. Ross Tebele - the President of Special Olympics Botswana - said though the athletes that are going to participate have an intellectual disability; it does not mean they are incapable.
He said people with intellectual disability are persons with an IQ less than 70 and that before they were referred to as ‘mentally retarded’, a phrase that is no longer used. The athletes are coming from all over the country. “These athletes are coming from over 50 schools around the country which cater for the needs of children,” he said. He urged Batswana to rally behind the team and support them. He acknowledged the immense support that they have got from corporates among them Debswana, Bofinet, Regent Insurance, Boseja Stores, AT&T Transport, BOCRA and BURS. The opening ceremony will be on July 25th with the USA first lady Michelle Obama officiating. The competitions will end on August 1.