Minister Anroux Marais Celebrates Western Cape Olympians
On 16 July 2016 the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), Anroux Marais, officially honoured the WC Olympians at the Royal Cape Yacht Club in the Cape Town Harbour. The celebration ceremony followed the official announcement of the South African Team of Olympians by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on 14 July 2016. The names of the 32 Western Cape athletes who qualified are available online.
The symbolism of the Olympic anthem and torch was highlighted with video clips of the late Olympic boxing champion Muhammad Ali lighting the torch at the opening ceremony of Atlanta 1996. Another clip of the sensational performance of swimmer Chad le Clos beating his hero Michael Phelps at London 2012 and returning to South Africa with gold, inspired one and all.
South African field hockey player Lungile Tsolekile, who competed in Beijing 2008, stressed the value of staying focussed on goals while rubbing shoulders with world-class athletes at the Olympic Village. “Your ultimate goal is just to be the best in the world,” he said.
“You should return with the responsibility to be role models who will instil the Olympic values in the next generation of sports people,” was the contribution of Dr Marion Keim, who works in the fields of social transformation, sport development, and peace building.
Minister Marais presented each Olympian with a token of appreciation while the musical score for the film Chariots of Fire was played. She delivered a heartfelt message comparing the Olympians with beacons of inspiration for the youth and hope for all of South Africa. “Time and again, sport and recreation has proven to contribute to the social inclusion of our diverse population,” she said.
DCAS promotes the Olympic values and proudly supports the exceptional Olympians. Their dedication and efforts are appreciated and the department wishes them well at Rio 2016.