Paralympic welcome home set for Sydney

Australians are invited to congratulate our most successful Paralympic Team since Sydney 2000 at the nation’s official welcome home celebration in Sydney.

To be held at the Sydney Opera House on Friday 9 November from 11:00am-1:00pm, this is the chance for the Australian public to meet the athletes who inspired them during the London Games.

Eight-time swimming gold medallist Jacqueline Freney and Australia’s most successful Paralympian of all-time Matt Cowdrey are among the 165 athletes  who will be there on the day as well as track stars Kelly Cartwright, Evan O’Hanlon and Kurt Fearnley, and the toughest men in Paralympic sport, Australia’s gold medal winning wheelchair rugby team, the Steelers.

Hosted by the NSW Government and City of Sydney in conjunction with the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC), the welcome home follows Paralympic sport’s night of nights, the Paralympian of the Year Awards on November 8.

“This event is about the public having the chance to meet our athletes and equally for our athletes to have the chance to meet all those who so strongly supported them back here in Australia during the Games,” said 2012 Chef de Mission and APC Chief Executive, Jason Hellwig.

“Our team experienced an incredible amount of public support this year and for many people, it was likely the first time they have ever watched and experienced Paralympic sport. The team is looking forward to saying thank you to Australia, with the help of the NSW Government and City of Sydney who have kindly flown in the team from around Australia.”

NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore will be attending the celebration to publicly thank the team for their outstanding performances in London which inspired so many.

“I urge all Sydney-siders to join the celebration at the Sydney Opera House to pay tribute to our Paralympians who represented us in London. They were fine ambassadors for our country and did us all proud as we watched on in awe of their exploits,” said Mr O’Farrell.

“As an official team sponsor, the City of Sydney has been behind our Paralympic athletes from the very beginning, and we’re delighted to have the chance to celebrate with them after such a successful competition in London,” added Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

“Our Paralympians are a source of great inspiration for all Sydneysiders, and we are proud of each and every athlete who competed, as well as the team’s amazing support staff.”

For those hoping to attend, there will be an official presentation and thank you at 11:00am followed by entertainment and opportunities to meet the entire Paralympic team.

For more information, please contact the APC at events@paralympic.org.au, like the APC on Facebook www.facebook.com/AUSParalympics or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/AUSParalympics

By APC Media

Posted 30/10/2012

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