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Pres. Weah Hails ‘Resilience, Strength Of Will’ Of Special Olympic Athletes


  22 Mars      10        Sport (3220),

   

Monrovia, March 22 (LINA) – Liberian President George Manneh Weah has proffered his « highest respect and admiration » for each and every participant in the Special Olympic Games organized by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that ended on Thursday.

He also paid tribute to the counterparts of the participants all over the world, who, in spite of the special challenges imposed by their disabilities, find the strength of mind to overcome them and take part in the sports of their choice.

« These games are a testament to your resilience, commitment, courage and your strength of will. We alute you!, » President Weah in a statement at the closing ceremony of the games in Abu Dhabi.

« I know the power and potential that sports have for transforming lives. As a person from a humble and marginalized background, it was sports that gave me the opportunities to overcome many obstacles and rise to become a better and more productive person.

« I can personally attest to the fact that sports can build character, and can teach many lessons in teamwork, leadership, fairness, and social cohesion, » the Liberian leader told the audience..

President Weah said he was also « very proud » that during these Special Olympics, his country, Liberia, won three gold medals and one bronze medal, adding that « these gold medals are the first top international sports laurels that Liberia has won since 1995, when I won the Ballon D’or as the World’s Best Football Player »

 » I believe that this accomplishment will serve as an inspiration to their fellow Liberians, and encourage them to continue to strive for excellence in all that they try to accomplish. »

He noted the « spectacular display of sportsmanship, skills and intelligence by these great athletes during these Special Olympics must serve as a wake-up call to the world that we must do more in a sustainable manner for the intellectually disabled. »

President Weah observed that society and the world at large must embrace and cater to those who are intellectually disabled, noting: »We must ensure that they are brought into the mainstream of society. We must also provide the platform for their enhancement. »

« As President of the Republic of Liberia, I renew my pledge here today that we will invest in facilities for those with special needs so that they too can become productive citizens, » Weah said.

He called on other leaders of the world to also commit to provide adequate facilities, support, and opportunities to enable these young people to take their rightful place as productive members of society.

Pres. Weah thanked the Government of the United Arab Emirates for hosting « these very important Special Olympics, » and the Organizing Committee for a well-planned event.

« I am glad to be in Abu Dhabi, which I consider as my second home. This is the city where I ended my career as a professional football player. And I am very happy to be here today to re-connect with my fans and the people of this great city, » he said.

These Special Olympic Games mean so much to me personally, he added.

« As we depart Abu Dhabi, I wish all participants a safe travel back home and may the blessings of Allah be upon all of us, » President Weah concluded.

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