The Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Gert Oosthuizen congratulated and applauded the South African Olympic Gold medallists - swimmers, Cameron van Der Burgh and Chad Le Clos as well as rowers, Sizwe Ndlovu, Matthew Brittain, John Smith and James Thompson - at an event hosted at the Ekhaya hospitality centre, in Southbank, London last night.
"I must assure you that tributes and messages of congratulations are pouring in, South Africans are ecstatic as we have finally laid the ghosts of Beijing to rest and have come to London to reclaim the gold that comes from our land and truly belongs to us. The mood is similar to that we experienced in 2010, when we hosted the FIFA World Cup. This major sporting event binds us as a nation and each day brings greater excitement as we unite as a nation to support each other and promote social cohesion. Continue to make South Africa proud," said Deputy Minister Oosthuizen.
South Africans living in London came in numbers to Ekhaya to catch a glimpse of their favourite gold medallists and cheered them on a job well done. Addressing their fans and fellow South Africans, the athletes expressed their gratitude to the Sport and Recreation South Africa, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), their technical teams, families and all South Africans for their unwavering support and prayers. "All this would be in vain if it were not for our country," said the athletes.
Amongst those who came to congratulate the athletes were the SA High Commissioner to London, Dr Zola Skweyiya, the President of SASCOC, Mr Gideon Sam, SASCOC board members, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive member, Mr Sam Ramsamy, CEO of SASCOC Mr Tubby Reddy, MEC for Sport and Recreation Gauteng, Mr Lebogang Maile, Mr Shaun Kilner and Mr Gary Greenway of Distell SA-UK, representatives of South African and International Sports Federations.
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Issued by: Sport and Recreation South Africa
7 Aug 2012