Immense pride among Western Cape Paralympians as they are Welcomed Home | Western Cape Government

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Immense pride among Western Cape Paralympians as they are Welcomed Home

21 September 2016

The Paralympian athletes from the Western Cape received the warmest of welcomes at the Cape Town International Airport from Minister Anroux Marais, among others, on Tuesday, 20 September 2016. Team Western Cape achieved 14 of the 17 medals obtained by Team SA in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The athletes were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic welcome they received from the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), media, family, friends and supporters. The province’s winners are Ernst van Dyk, Dyan Buis, Ilse Hayes, Jonathan Ntutu, Zanele Situ, Hilton Langenhoven, Charl du Toit, Reinhardt Hamman, Anrune Liebenberg and Fanie van der Merwe.

Reinhardt Hamman, gold medallist and javelin champion, described Rio as an “incredible place”, but seeing that it was his first time competing in the games, he had nothing to compare it to. “I went there to earn my gold medal but I had no expectations of winning. Despite some challenges with my left knee, I still managed to get the gold medal and compete in memory of my father who passed away this year,” he said. “I threw a personal best of 50.96m, which was also a new South African and African Record. The reality of being a Paralympic champion has not sunk in yet, but I am so proud to be a South African and a Capetonian, and to have represented the Western Cape in Rio.”

Minister Anroux Marais, filled with pride at the outstanding achievements by the Paralympic athletes, said how it was both an honour and a privilege for her to witness the sporting excellence of our outstanding athletes as they held South Africa’s name high on the world’s biggest stage. “Today we welcome them home and celebrate their unwavering dedication, self-determination, excellence in sport and will to succeed,” she said. “They are now beacons of inspiration, renewed hope and role models for our youth to aspire to. I wish them well in their future endeavours and trust that we will maintain our partnership in promoting the Paralympic spirit throughout the Western Cape.”

Let us continue to be proud supporters of the exceptional Paralympians and to encourage excellence and dedication in sport, BETTER TOGETHER. 

Media Enquiries: 

Tania Colyn
Head of Communication Service
Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Tel: 021 483 9877