WINDHOEK – The Namibian team that recently participated in the Special Olympics Summer Games in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates arrived to a hero’s welcome at Hosea Kutako International Airport on Friday.
The United Arab Emirates welcomed more than 7 500 athletes from over 170 nations for the Summer Games in Abu Dhabi this month.
The team, which saw Namibia’s 2015 Special Olympics World Summer games half marathon gold medallist Ruben //Gowaseb scoop another gold in the 42-kilometre category, competed in 24 sanctioned Olympic-style sporting disciplines in what was the first world games to be held in the Middle-East.
The clinical director for Special Smiles, an affiliate of Special Olympics Namibia, Dr Kagiso ‘Bro K’ Moloi, applauded //Gowaseb’s achievement, saying the 42-kilometre marathon is one of the highlights of the Special Olympics.
“Special Smiles assesses the athletes’ teeth and if there is anything that they need during the games they are provided,” said a delighted Moloi, a noted jazz fanatic. He further said that //Gowaseb did not receive the attention he “required” in 2015 when he won gold in the US Summer Games.
“We were supposed to come here and welcome him as we did now and I think this time, we must go to State House and show that Namibia is number one,” added the likeable dentist.
An ecstatic //Gowaseb told the media that his promise to bring home the second gold from the Special Olympics Games kept him going despite enduring pain, which resulted from an injury he sustained prior to competing in the 2019 games. “I promised to bring gold and I fulfilled my promise. Once a champion always a champion,” said the 40-year-old who shed tears of joy, adding that he would rest for two weeks before starting to train again as he hopes to participate in more future competitions.
Bishop Wahl Abrahams of Special Olympics who accompanied the team said he was happy that the athletes competed on an international platform with passion and drive.
“Our Namibian team is powerful and we salute everybody that supported us,” said Abrahams. Meanwhile, //Gowaseb’s family, friends and supporters gathered in Katutura on Friday for a welcome party in his honour.
The athlete together with joyful supporters marched from the UN Plaza in Soweto to the //Gowaseb residence while parading the medals.
2019-03-25 09:30:32 4 months ago