Thousands of South African fans welcomed home Team SA who successfully competed in the 2012 London Paralympics. Team South Africa won 29 medals at the games including eight gold, 12 silver and nine bronze. South Africa fell far short of the previous performance in the 2008 Games in Beijing where they collected 21 gold, three silver and six bronze.
For their hard work and their efforts to popularize the country, the medalists received cash awards from the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).
SASCOC President Gideon Sam said:
“All Paralympic medalists would receive the same financial medal incentives as their Olympic counterparts. We will plan better and better ahead of 2016. This is not an issue… our Paralympian athletes will get their money just as the Olympians did”..
After the handing over of the cheques, sensational swimmer, Natalie du Toit became the top earner as she received a whopping R1.4-million for winning three gold and one silver medal in the London games.
Speaking at the event, Mbalula who described Natalie as a golden girl of South Africa said:
“We are very proud of this team because if you don’t know perseverance, tenacity, exuberance and determination you know nothing and this is what this team has displayed, so we can’t ask for more, our athletes stood the ground and brought medals home.We call them Olympians, we call them Paralympians, these are real people, and these are the people who have made our country very proud among other nations”.
The Games came to a conclusion on Sunday, 9 September and the next Paralympics will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016.
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