Jonathan to host Paralympians and Falconets

RECEPTION FOR NIGERIAN PARALYMPIC HEROES IN LAGOS

The Paralympians put up a good show at the just concluded Paralympics in London.

President Goodluck Jonathan will on Saturday host members of the Team Nigeria Special athletes at the just concluded London Paralympics to a special reception.

The President will also host the Falconets at the reception, for their brilliant performance at the just concluded FIFA Women U-20 Championship in Japan. The Falconets came fourth in the competition.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, confirmed this to journalists at the State House. He held that the reception will send a clear message that all athletes are important.

Speaking further on the reception, Mr. Maku contended that the special athletes brought smiles to the faces of Nigerians who were seriously hurt by the woeful performance of the non-physically challenged athletes.

“They have wiped away our tears. The message they have sent is that we need a greater passion in what we do. Their performance confirms that every citizen is important. The reception will send a clear message that all is important,” he said.

The Minister described the performance of the female junior football team in the FIFA Women U-20 Championship as “ventilating”, adding that “they showed a lot of talent and defeated very great football nations.

“They have demonstrated that when women are asking for 35 per cent they mean it. It is a clear indication what women can do better where men have failed.”

At the London Games, the Nigerian special athletes won a total of 13 medals: six gold, five silver and two bronze medals. Interestingly, their non-physically challenged counterpart could not win a single medal at the main London Olympics.

Team Nigeria finished 22nd in the overall medals table and placed third in Africa behind Tunisia and South Africa respectively.

At the Sydney Olympic Games, the special athletes also performed well at the Paralympics by winning seven gold, one silver and five bronze medals.