For our Paralympic heroes (and falconets), a day to remember

Posted by News Express, Abuja | 16 September 2012 | 3,093 times

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Who says that hard work doesn’t pay? Or that success doesn’t have its reward? For Nigeria’s Paralympians and members of the country’s female Under-20 football team, the Falconets, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, is a day they will always live to remember with smiles. It was a day when the Paralympians were handsomely rewarded for their heroics at the just-concluded London 2012 Paralympic Games, and the Falconets for finishing fourth at the Under-20 World Cup in Japan.

Said an elated President Goodluck Jonathan at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on at a special reception held for them last night: “You represented our country to the best of your ability, we thank you.”

He then announced cash rewards for them for doing the country proud, icing it with the conferment of the national honor of Member of the Order of The Niger (MON) on the six gold medal winning Paralympians.

Jonathan announced a cash gift of N500,000 for each Paralympian who did not win a medal, N2 million each for bronze medal winners, N3 million for each silver winner and N5 million for each gold medal winner. The coaches and officials of the Paralympian team were given N2.5 million each.

As for the Falconets, the President rewarded them with N1 million each while each of the coaches and other officials got N1.2 million each.

The reception was graced by Vice President Namadi Sambo, state governors, Senate President David Mark, members of the National Assembly, Ministers and Sport administrators.

News Express recalls that the Paralympians won a total of 13 medals, comprising six gold, at the London Paralympics, placing Nigeria 22nd on the medals table and third best in Africa after Tunisia and South Africa.

The team dominated the powerlifting event, with at least four star athletes, namely, Yakubu Adesokan, Esther Oyema, Joy Onaolapo and Folashade Oluwafemiayo, setting new world records.

*Photo shows a cross section of the glorious Paralympians.

Source: News Express

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