Hundreds of cheering Victorians gathered in central Melbourne to welcome back the Australian stars from the Rio Paralympic Games.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Acting Minister for Sports Martin Foley joined hundreds of Melburnians draped in green and gold as they acknowledged the Australian Paralympian athletes.
“Victorians were gripped by the drama of the Rio Paralympic Games. Today is about celebrating the countless achievements of our homegrown stars,” said Mr Foley.
Of the 177 Australian athletes who took part in the Paralympics in Rio, 44 came from Victoria and won a total of 27 medals.
Dylan Alcott, who won gold medals in singles and doubles tennis, told the crowd: “I still can’t believe it. It probably won’t sink in for the next 10 years.”
Mr Alcott took a role in sports commentary with regional TV network Prime 7 after returning from Rio, saying he wants to be a role model for people with disabilities.
— VicGovAu (@VicGovAu) October 5, 2016
“I actually really want to work in the media, in the mainstream media, because I think the Paralympics is a beautiful thing for two weeks… and I think there needs to be a more positive role model in mainstream media on a regular basis and not just once in every four years.”
“There’s nothing quite as inspiring as seeing our Paralympic champions fly the green and gold flag on sport’s greatest stage. We’re so proud of them,” said Victorian Premier Mr Andrews. – Lamourette Folly
Photo by Lamourette Folly