PRIME Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday called for a national celebration after the historical win by Iliesa Delana at the 2012 London Paralympics.
While responding to queries from The Fiji Times, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama paid tribute to Delana's achievement which "calls for a celebration by all Fijians".
The 2012 Sportsman of the Year Award recipient became the first Fijian to win gold at the Paralympics after beating six other athletes in the F42 men's high jump.
"This week, the whole world watched Delana win gold for himself and for Fiji," Commodore Bainimarama said from Abu Dhabi yesterday.
"This is something we should be proud of and something we should celebrate.
"To win the first gold for Fiji in the Paralympics is an enormous achievement," he said.
He said "at the international level, it doesn't get much better than this".
Commodore Bainimarama congratulated Delana for his strength, dedication and commitment to his own goal of "winning gold" and being the best in his sports.
The head of government said Delana's perseverance to succeed and to make a name for himself was something every Fijian should aspire to.
"Delana's win in London is a reminder that we can all do great things if we commit and dedicate ourselves to what we want," Commodore Bainimarama said.
"I call on all Fijians to join me in congratulating Delana's victory."
The 27-year old set a new regional record with a jump of 1.74m to win Fiji's first Paralympic medal and just the second Paralympic medal by a Pacific athlete.
Delana finished on the same height as India's Girisha Hosanagara Nagarajegowda and Poland's Lukasz Mamczarz but won gold by making fewer jumps.