In the President's Corner - Gideon Sam | SASCOC - SASCOC

In the President’s Corner – Gideon Sam

Well done Chad. What a fantastic swim and what an achievement for our first medal to go to an 18 year-old with the potential to become a huge star. And what more is there to say about Natalie?

We need good news stories in South African sport and our youth needs to be inspired by athletes who value the honour of representing their country. On Monday we saw Chad do us proud and on Tuesday Natalie and wrestlers Shaun Addinall and Bella-Lufa Hughes were among the medals.

Chad is an example of a young man who cherishes every moment and he certainly is living the Delhi dream, as he did in Singapore when he won five medals at the Youth Olympics.

The Games create an opportunity for our athletes to showcase their talents against some of the best in the world and Chad certainly did that in his swim.

What was even more impressive was that after he qualified for the final he also swam the third leg of the men’s 4 x 100 freestyle in the heats. He did it with a smile on his face and he certainly had the biggest smile on his face on Monday evening.

I’ve been very impressed with the organisation in Delhi. Security is very tight but rather vigilance than negligence and I know our athletes appreciate every precaution has been taken to safeguard their welfare.

The Games Village is also very impressive and I know the Team officials worked extremely hard to make Tower 22 a comfortable working and living space for the athletes.

I felt privileged to be poolside when a young South African realised his Commonwealth dream and I am hopeful I’ll be able to experience that feeling regularly in the next two weeks.

Natalie showed all the fight we have come to expect of her in coming from behind to get our second medal. This is her last Commonwealth Games and she’s certainly left a legacy that defines her spirit and South Africans as people who never give up.

I watched the wrestling final and the home support certainly gave the Indians a lift but it was still a mighty effort from Shaun to make it to the final and enjoy his finest moment. The same applies to Bella-Lufa Hughes, who was also superb in winning silver.