President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed the dedication and perseverance of the South African Special Olympics team, which returned from the World Summer Games in Berlin with a record medal haul.
The team won 22 gold, 20 silver and 7 bronze medals, competing against 7,000 athletes from over 180 countries.
“Our success in the Special Olympics shows what happens when government and civil society work together to ensure that we leave no-one behind,” President Ramaphosa said at a meeting with the team at the Union Buildings in Tshwane.
“And it is your success in Berlin that has brought you to the Union Buildings today, where all of us are excited to meet our stars in person and to celebrate.”
The President said the team had shattered the barriers that once confined them, and that they were heroes who we can look up to and be inspired by.
He also commended Special Olympics South Africa Chairperson Dr Mathews Phosa for his many years of service to the movement and for hosting the leadership conference in South Africa for 17 years.
“With such a hard-working and distinguished captain at the helm of Special Olympics South Africa we can only expect even greater things from Team South Africa,” President Ramaphosa said.
The President said the country’s success in the Special Olympics was a reflection of its commitment to inclusion, and that he hoped this commitment would continue to shine brightly.