They're petite in stature, but giants in grit and skill. Bangladesh’s first all-female floor hockey team has been beating the men round after round to earn themselves a place in the finals – an amazing feat for a team that was formed just six months before the World Winter Games.
Members of the team come from all across Bangladesh – mostly rural villages with few opportunities. Sadia Akhter Urmi, 19, is one of them. Born the middle child to a family of farmers earning a monthly income of less than US$40, Sadia was introduced to Special Olympics in 2009 through her school. Her younger brother also has an intellectual disability.
“Special Olympics has changed our lives,” says Sadia, who has a hearing disability. “We get free health screenings, and they pay for our school fees.”
This is her second time at the World Games, having won a Gold Medal in table-tennis at the 2011 Athens Games.
“When I first met her, she couldn’t even meet my gaze," says Coach Salim Md Abdus. "Just look at her now!"