Dubai: Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE National Olympic Committee (UAE NOC), has called upon the sporting fraternity in the country to emulate the accomplishments of the Paralympians who did the UAE proud at the recent London Paralympic Games.
The UAE squad won three medals – one gold, one silver and a bronze – at the Games that were held in London immediately after the Olympics, from where the UAE returned without any medals.
Mohammad Al Hammadi won two of the three medals, a silver in the men’s 200 metres and a bronze in the men’s T34 100m, while Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani shot his way to the gold medal in the mixed R6-50m rifle prone event.
“The sense of pride that I felt at witnessing the achievements of our athletes at the London Paralympic Games cannot be described,” Shaikh Ahmad told presidents of member associations affiliated to the UAE NOC and media at his palace in Zabeel late on Wednesday. “I was so filled with joy to see the UAE flag flying high after our athletes were successful at the Games.
“These athletes of ours had a vision and they showed the dedication necessary to go out there and do their best among the best in the world. And I am so happy that they were able to do themselves and the UAE proud at an Olympic Games.”
After his opening remarks, Shaikh Ahmad presided over a meeting of members affiliated to the UAE NOC and a six-member delegation from the ‘Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Award for Women Athletes’ that has been instituted recently.
Shaikh Ahmad further urged able-bodied athletes to try and outdo the Paralympic athletes and bring glory to the UAE while participating at various competitions held all over the world.
“Very often a lot is said about resources and facilities,” he said. “But I do not agree. If there is a will, like what our Paralympic athletes showed us, then there can be no excuses for performing at the top level. Desires have no limit and these Paralympians from the UAE showed us exactly that when they brought home three medals. I am sure that with the right amount of hard work and dedication, our able-bodied athletes can do the same.
“The human spirit wants to achieve and in order to achieve one has to set goals and pursue these goals. Our Paralympic athletes showed us how it is to be done.
“There will be no reason for complaints, be it about facilities, infrastructure or resources. We will continue supporting sportspersons at various levels. From now on, our challenge should lie in how we will go about achieving better results at the best levels for the UAE.”