Paralympian pride

Mohamed Al Hammadi's gold medal was just one of seven won by UAE athletes at the Paralympics. Friedemann Vogel / Getty Images
Mohamed Al Hammadi's gold medal was just one of seven won by UAE athletes at the Paralympics. Friedemann Vogel / Getty Images

By any standard, Emirati athletes have done our country proud at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, which conclude tonight. While these games attract only a tiny proportion of the attention garnered by the Olympics only a few weeks before, success at the Paralympics still requires unwavering commitment, absolute dedication and the relentless pursuit of achieving the athlete’s absolute best.

We are, of course, proud of Mohammed Al Hammadi, Mohammed Khalaf, Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani, Sara Al Senaani and Noura Al Ketbi, whose tally of two gold, four silver and one bronze put the UAE in the top half of the countries competing in Rio. The example of Al Aryani, who was a competitor in the Olympics before a car accident left him paraplegic, is a powerful message to everyone about the ability to adjust to setbacks and rededicate oneself to excellence.

But all 18 of our athletes ought to be recognised for defying the restrictions on their abilities, choosing instead to push the boundaries of what is possible. Their example should inspire us all.

Published: September 18, 2016 04:00 AM

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