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Team SA’s Paralympic stars arrive in Cape Town
- Updated: October 16, 2012
With the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games in London all but a distant memory, Team South Africa’s Paralympic heroes are once again in the national┬á spotlight, writes Mark Etheridge.
The team arrived in Cape Town on Monday a day ahead of them being hosted at Parliament on Tuesday.
The bulk of the team jetted into Cape Town international at around noon where they were joined by local members of the team. The group were accompanied by singing fans and vuvuzela-blowing supporters as they made their way through the airport to the welcome area.
Original plans had the team visiting the iconic Mother City landmark of Table Mountain but the Cape Doctor, in the shape of a howling south-easter wind, put paid to that and instead, they were ferried around the Peninsula for a sight-seeing tour.
Among the big names at the airport on Monday were Natalie du Toit who swam her last Paralympics in London and won four medals, and Charl Bouwer who won three medals in the pool. Also there was Ilse Hayes who won gold and silver in the athletics arena.
Tuesday sees the team attending a joint sitting of Parliament ÔÇô a joint sitting of the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces where they will be congratulated for their excellent performance in London where they brought home 29 medals (eight gold, 12 silver and nine bronze).
The hour-long sitting is scheduled to begin at 2pm and Presiding Officers, NA Speaker Max Sisulu and NCOP Chairperson Mninwa Mahlangu will be among those who congratulate and acknowledge the role the SA Paralympic Team played in nation building through their excellence in international sporting activities.