Member Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria, Foluso Philips (right); Member, Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria, Hetty Bakare; Chairman, Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria, Victor Osibodu and National Director, Special Olympics Nigeria, Naomi Saliu-Lawal during the welcome reception for the Special Olympics Nigeria athletes from the World winter games in Lagos… yesterday.
Nigeria yesterday stood still for the nation’s contingent to this year’s Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Graz and Schladming in Styria, Austria, who returned home with 20 medals.
The athletes won gold in the Floor Hockey and silver in the Unified Floor Ball events, totaling 20 medals on special count, which are 12 gold and eight silver medals.
Speaking at the welcome ceremony organised for the team yesterday, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria, Mr. Victor Gbolade Osibodu, said their feat called for happiness “because they did the country proud.”
He said, “On behalf of the board members, athletes, and family members, I would like to use this opportunity to thank you all for making out time to attend this event.
“It is a celebration of the athletes and their magnificent achievements. As trailblazers they have gone, competed, and brought home medals.”
He also commended the board members, who, he said have been supportive always and ensuring that the trip to Austria was a reality.
“I would also like to thank our sponsors, Biswal Limited, Caverton Offshore Support Group, Orintory Energy Ltd, IrokoTV, Union Bank Plc and anonymous donors for their support.”
One of the athletes,18-year-old Master Olatunji Daniel, who celebrated his birthday at the games, used the event to thank Special Olympics Nigeria for the opportunity to represent the country at the games.
“One of the things I will live to remember for a long time is that I had the opportunity to celebrate my birthday outside the country. If any one had told me so, I would not have believed, but I thank God it is real,” he said.