So proudly South African, thanks to paralympians: iLIVE
Watching the closing ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics was bitter-sweet. The feast of sport had come to an end, but the memories, the emotions, the triumphs and the defeats will linger.
We can have nothing but pure admiration and appreciation for our gladiators in adversity.
They have exemplified at the highest level of sporting endeavour that there are no limits to dreams and aspirations, no matter what the handicap may be.
I could not wait to watch Team South Africa compete, and each time they stood on the podium to receive their medals, I was truly proudly South African.
For a brief moment, our woes and all that troubles us diminished in the glory of our countrymen and women. Watching the paralympians strive, struggle and strut their talent was awe-inspiring.
These men and women should serve as a fundamental source of inspiration to a nation desperately short on heroes. They will surely change lives. I am singularly proud of every athlete, able-bodied and paralympian, who represented this country, and whether they won a medal or not is not important.
It is their spirit and resolute representation of our country that should make us all proud.
On an ambivalent note, but one of relief in the end, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula announced that the paralympians would be rewarded with the same prize money as the able-bodied athletes at the end of the event.
I am certain it would have been an incentive and greater inspiration if it was announced prior to the event. After all, the paralympians merely have a disability, but the humanness is no different.
Team SA, I salute you. I am proud to be South African.