THE President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, believes the great lesson learnt from Iliesa Delana’s Paralympics gold medal win is for everyone to change their perception towards people with special needs.
During the opening of the FANCA Muslim tournament in Nadi on Wednesday Ratu Epeli said everyone needed to recognise the abilities of the people with special needs instead of their disabilities.
“Fiji is basking in glory following the recent gold medal win by at the 2012 Paralympics Games in London on September 3,” Ratu Epeli said.
“It has been a while since our country came together as one to celebrate a major achievement. Iliesa’s win was very inspirational given that it took an athlete with special needs to bring back glory and honour to our country.
“One of the greatest lessons from Iliesa’s win at the highest sporting event in the world is for all of us to change our perception towards people with special needs, and to recognise their abilities instead of their disabilities. Empathy is what they need, not sympathy.”
“Iliesa is now enjoying the fruits of his commitment and success. He has set his sights on the next World Championship and the 2016 Paralympics Games in Rio, Brazil. I have every confidence that he will continue to be an exemplary role model for our youths and Fijians everywhere.”