Paralympics athletes receive boost before September competition

Daily News Egypt
2 Min Read

CAIRO: A couple of weeks before Egypt’s athletes head to Beijing for the 2008 summer Paralympics, the team gathered at a press conference to receive support from their sponsors.

The Egyptian Paralympics Committee (EPC), headed and represented by Nabil Salem, received a LE 60,000 check from McDonalds, their biggest sponsor, during the press conference.

The Paralympics is held every four years in the same city that hosts the Olympics. This year the summer Paralympics will run from Sept. 6 to 17.

Salem told the reporters present that the team has high hopes and was optimistic about bringing home gold medals.

The teams, he added, included handball and volleyball with many other individual events where the Egyptian athletes exhibit a great deal of skills and experience.

“Each athlete is aiming for a medal and not fourth or fifth runner up positions, he said.

The August Olympics were a disappointment for Egypt, which only won one bronze medal. The Paralympics athletes are known for outdoing their counterparts in the Olympics.

Salem told Daily News Egypt that facilities used and the training techniques of the team have progressed reaching global standards.

In the past, he continued, the Paralympics’ athletes in Egypt were treated as second rate citizens, with many sports clubs refusing to allow EPC team to use their facilities.

“Now, the Egyptian society has matured and become more acceptable of the idea of our athletes being part of the greater sports scene in Egypt, he added.

This has improved the funding and provided nation wide coverage for EPC’s activities. In turn, this has improved the recruiting process of local talents from different academies, special schools and clubs in various municipalities in Egypt.

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