Capetonians Honour Olympic Heroes With City Parade
Cape Town buzzed with excitement and joy as citizens honoured South African homecoming Olympic and Paralympic heroes by taking them on an open bus parade through the Cape Town CBD on Monday, 17 October. The parade was hosted as a joint initiative by the City of Cape Town (CoCT), Western Cape Government (WCG), Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) and Heart 104.9FM.
Proceedings started at the iconic Cape Town City Hall. Thereafter the open air bus, with the athletes and city dignitaries on board, drove through the streets of the Mother City as supporters gathered along the pavements. The parade ended at the Green Point Athletics Stadium with a lap of honour led by Cape Town’s very own Limited Edition Drum Corps.
Capetonians came in their thousands to show their love and support for the Olympic and Paralympic athletes – their voices ringing out praises for their heroes’ outstanding achievements at the Rio Olympics.
“We must say a special thank you to our Olympians and Paralympians for making us so proud as South Africans,” said CoCT Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille during her address. Much to the elation of the crowd, De Lille announced that – as per the proposal of Western Cape Premier Helen Zille – the CoCT would start the public participation process to rename the Green Point Athletics Stadium after world champion Wayde van Niekerk. At the Rio Olympics Van Niekerk broke a world record which had stood for 17 years when he ran the 400 metres in 43.03 seconds.
Premier Zille thanked everyone for coming out to celebrate South Africa’s sporting heroes. “It is quite extraordinary what it takes to be an Olympian and a Paralympian hero. I am sure each of our brilliant sportspeople here today will have a story of sacrifice, commitment, determination and hard work to back the talent that they have,” said Zille.
Minister of DCAS Anroux Marais addressed the athletes directly and said, “You are beacons of hope and inspiration especially for our youth and you show that you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.”
During an on stage interview with Heart 104.9FM’s Aden Thomas, van Niekerk extended a thank you to each and every one for the support that contributed to his success in Rio. “Cape Town is where I get the most love” said van Niekerk, who is set to show some good times in the 100 metre and 200 metre races in the future.
Let us continue to be proud supporters of the exceptional Olympians and Paralympians and to encourage excellence and dedication in sport, BETTER TOGETHER.