Washington, DC – Second Lady Karen Pence, joined by her daughter Audrey, and the U.S. Presidential Delegation arrived in Abu Dhabi to attend the Opening Ceremony and to participate in other events of the Special Olympics World Games. The Presidential Delegation includes Linda McMahon, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, Steven Bondy, Chargé d’Affaires ad interim, United States Embassy Abu Dhabi, Dr. Jerome Adams, Surgeon General of the United States, Mariano Rivera, Co-Chair of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition, Former Pitcher for the New York Yankees, and 2019 inductee to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Second Lady and the Delegation kicked off their visit by attending the United States versus Kenya soccer match at the Zayed Sports City. Before the start of the match, Mrs. Pence proceeded to the soccer field where she greeted the athletes and then tossed a Eurnice Kennedy Commemorative coin to help the referees determine which team would start the game. Then, Mrs. Pence and the delegation watched the match from the stands with members of the U.S. Special Olympics bowling team and fans. Following the soccer match, Mrs. Pence and the Delegation returned to the field where they congratulated all of the athletes on their participation in the soccer match.
“It is a great honor and privilege to attend the Special Olympics World Games and cheer on the amazing athletes as they compete in their sport,” said Mrs. Pence. “The athletes at today’s soccer match displayed enthusiasm and camaraderie throughout the game. I was inspired by their tenacity and determination.”
Following the soccer match, the Second Lady participated in a Sister Cities gift exchange at the Founder’s Memorial to highlight and recognize the relationship shared between Houston and Abu Dhabi. Mrs. Pence is the Honorary Vice Chair of Sister Cities International. The visit started with a brief tour of the Founder’s Memorial. Then, Mrs. Pence, on behalf of the Mayor of Houston, presented of Abu Dhabi with a letter and a gift of a framed postcard featuring the “First Manned Moon Landing.” The gift recognizes the 50th Anniversary of man’s landing on the moon on July 20, 1969, and Houston believes the UAE has been showing interest and dedication to developing its space agency program. In exchange, H.E. Falah Al Ahbabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council, presented Mrs. Pence with a three-dimensional sculpture titled, “The Constellation,” which is in honor of the founder of Abu Dhabi. The Second Lady will deliver the gift to Houston in April.
Mrs. Pence ended the day by enjoying dinner with the Presidential Delegation. Tomorrow, Mrs. Pence will lead the Presidential Delegation and the U.S. athletes in the parade of the Opening Ceremony.