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Girl Power

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Sadia Akhter Urmi (Jersey no. 7) holds her own among the men at the floor hockey semi-finals against Tunisia.

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!"

About Me:

I am a Senior Manager, Communications and Development, Special Olympics Asia Pacific