After their exploits in Rio, Brazil, Nigeria’s all-conquering Paralympic athletes returned to the country Sunday on completion of the Games.
Team Nigeria did the country, and indeed the African continent proud with a massive 12-medal haul at Rio. They arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Sunday evening amid fanfare as well-wishers sang and danced to receive them, Vanguard writes.
Also on hand to receive them were officials of the Ministry of Sports who felt a measure of vindication from their performance following the overall disappointment of the Rio 2016 Games.
The team did not clinch any additional medals in their final round of events on Saturday, but the country’s special athletes had already done enough to be celebrated for their heroics in Rio having won eight gold medals, two silvers and two bronze medals to lead the Africa medals table.
In a similar situation to the London 2012 Games where the main athletes failed to turn up, their physically challenged colleagues lifted the spirits with awe-inspiring displays that saw them shatter six world records.
They not only finished top in Africa, the team also ensured their best ever placement at the Games on 16th, their highest ranking since emerging 22nd at the Games in Sydney 2000.
Their performances have spawned catchphrases such as “ability in disability”, but it will only be fair for their inspiration to be duly rewarded, and a presidential banquet to honour them won’t be a bad start.
Heaven knows they deserve it.