His Excellency, the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau with the Fiji Team. Photo:SUPPLIED.
His Excellency, the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today received the Fiji Team, who for the first time, will compete at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.
While addressing the athletes during their iTatau (farewell ceremony) presentation, the Head of State commended the athletes for their diligence and determination in their training preparations for the upcoming games.
“Fiji expects you to come out victorious and I am sure that you as individuals have also set yourselves high expectations ,” Ratu Epeli said.
“You are going to represent Fiji for the first time, treat it as an adventure. You will be up against top athletes but that should not discourage you from performing to the best of your ability.”
Ratu Epeli urged the team to achieve their set target and make Fiji proud.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Suva Special School student Abdul Imtiaz Sharif said he is proud to be representing Fiji at the international event.
“I will be taking part in the 200metres and 400metres race at the Special Olympics Games. I am excited and looking forward to the competition because it is a good exposure for us. We will get a chance to make new friends too,” Abdul said.
Abdul, who is challenged with reading difficulty, said his goal is to work hard and make his country, family and school proud.
The games will also provide an avenue for discussions on the impact that Special Olympics has to the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
The Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Iliesa Delana will be accompanying the six athletes with three officials to the games.
Athletes from 170 nations will be competing in 25 Olympic-type sports in Los Angeles from 25th July to 3rd August this year.