Croatian Paralympians bring home the sporting glory

The last five weeks of Olympic sporting thrills, feisty competitions, inspiration and hope ended on Sunday September 10 with the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games, dubbed “the greatest ever” by International Committee chairman Sir Philip Craven.

Paralypmpics 2012 saw China top the medals table, followed by Russia, Great Britain, Ukraine, Australia and USA. Highlights of the last week included five golds for the Australian swimmer Matt Cowdrey – an amazing, amazing achievement.

Croatian Paralympians were up there among the best – 2 silver and 3 bronze medals. That is a success most encouraging and most thrilling for a country with a relatively small population. But, as in the previously held Olympic Games 2012 in London so too in the Paralympics 2012 Croatia has proven it has what it takes to pursue sporting excellence across the board.

Congratulations to all the Paralympian medalists and all the competitors. You’re simply amazing!

(L-R) Silver medallist Zoran Talic of Croatia, gold medallist Jose Antonio Exposito Pineiro of Spain and bronze medallist Lenine Cunha of Portugal pose on the podium during the Victory Ceremony for the men’s Long Jump – F20 Final on Day 6 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium Photo: Getty Images

(L-R) Silver medallist Darko Kralj of Croatia, gold medallist Jackie Christiansen of Denmark and Bronze medallist Aled Davies of Great Britain pose on the podium during the victory ceremony in the men’s Shot Put – F42/44 on day 2 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium Photo: Getty Images

(L-R) Silver medalist Yevheniy Bohodayko of Ukraine, gold medallist Jonathan Fox of Great Britain and bronze medallist Mihovil Spanja of Croatia pose on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 100m Backstroke – S7 final on day 1 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Aquatics Centre on August 30, 2012 in London Photo: Getty Images

Branimir Budetic celebrates his Paralympic bronze medal in Men’s Javelin Throw with his mother Photo: Getty Images

Mikela Ristosky Bronze Medal Women’s Long Jump Photo: glasistre.hr

London Games chairman Sebastian Coe believes the huge popularity of Paralympic Games shows disabled sport is fast becoming recognised as elite competition”, reports Australia’s ABC

The research that is beginning to come through is showing that over 70 per cent of people now regard the Paralympic Games and the Paralympians as elite athletes,” the twice Olympic gold medallist told a news conference before the closing ceremony.

I think we’ve genuinely created a platform for their talents and disability sport. Two thirds of the population followed the Games on television, three quarters followed on any platform, so print, TV radio, online.

More than four billion people are estimated to have watched the London Games on television compared to 1.9 billion eight years ago in Athens.

It’s indeed a very bright and sunny day as the world counts with high celebration among its winners people with disabilities. It’s high time that every country invests more in making disability a part of normal life and that new, richer opportunities open up for those who must try twice as hard in many pursuits of life because of disability. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. Dalibor Zovko says:

    Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 11:15:01 +0000 To: daliborzovko@hotmail.com

    Like

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