Special Olympians Lauded


Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Andrew Gallimore, has praised the special Olympians for their achievements, at the recently concluded World Winter Games, held in Boise, Idaho, in the United States of America.
Speaking at a luncheon in their honour, on February 26, at the Alhambra Inn hotel, in Kingston, the State Minister encouraged them to continue to keep the Jamaican flag flying high.
“I am extremely happy, and you have made all of us very proud, because you have played your part in keeping the name of Jamaica standing tall and proud around the world,” Mr. Gallimore said.
“Another reason why you should be proud is that everybody in Jamaica will have to stop and take a look at you and what you have accomplished, because this is a special victory for not only Jamaica, but for the persons who have disabilities, because you have taken one more step in bringing the cause of persons with disabilities to the forefront,” he added.
Mr. Gallimore reiterated the call for Jamaicans to treat the members of the disability community with the utmost respect.
“In Jamaica we have a tremendous amount of work to do with regards to how we treat persons with disabilities. We can’t want to gain first world status and treat persons with disabilities the way we now do. They have shown that [they too] can do something great for their country and with this outlined, it goes to show they deserve a chance in life, just like everybody else,” he added.
According to the State Minister, the time has come to fully eradicate the obstacles that persons with disabilities are facing, as time and again they have continued to prove their worth.
“They have demonstrated once again, that persons with disabilities also have tremendous abilities and in many instances can out perform persons who don’t have a disability, because of their focus on what they do. We need to get rid of the phobia, the misconceptions and the limitations that people have in their minds as to what someone else is capable of doing,” he said.
Some 18 special Olympians and five coaches went to the World Winter Games from February 7 to 13. They won five medals – two Gold, one Silver and two Bronze – competing in floor hockey and speed-skating events.
The floor hockey team members were: Damion Bailey, David Thompson, Andrew Hinds, Lucan Jones, Craig Nelson, Kevin Richardson, Richard Oates, Jermaine White, Winfred Ellis, Kevoy Whittingham, Errington Gordon, Dexter Haughton, Dayne McCallum, Jason Grant, Mathew Tarawali and Dwight Brooks. Richard Hilary and Monique Brown did roller skating.

JIS Social