Monday, September 03, 2012

At the ParaOlympics congratulations Delana

from w
Some good news from the ParaOlympics for one of Fiji's athletes.
From the Fiji Times today. Though born in Macuata, one report says he is really a young man from Nadroga and he lost his leg in a bus accident when he was three.  Congratulations Iliesa Delana..

Delana jumps into history

Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Update: 10:12AM FIJIS Iliesa Delana has created history after winning Pacifics first ever gold medal at the Paralympic Games in London this morning.
The 27-year-old Macuata native recorded a personal best height of 1.74 metres, which is also the new regional record, to win the F42 high jump event.
Delana finished on the same height as Indias Girisha Hosanagara Nagarajegowda and Polands Lukasz Mamczarz but won gold by taking less jumps.
When Times Sports called Team Fiji Chef de Mission Sainiana Tukana for comments, Delana was undergoing a random drug test.
Its South Pacific biggest achievement at the Games and we are proud of Delanas achievement, Tukana said.
He started with 1.65m and continued gearing the height until 1.74m.
Delana celebrates medal by running on tracks
Publish date/time: 04/09/2012 [17:13]

The Fijian flag was flying high in the London Olympic Stadium today with the happiest man on the planet at the time, Fiji paralympian, Iliesa Delana proudly running around the tracks.

The photo was priceless as Delana who only has a leg ran in Fijian colours with only one crutch. 

He ran, he smiled, he acknowledged the 80,000 plus crowd in the stadium as he created history today by winning Fiji’s first ever gold in the Paralympic Games. This is also Fiji’s first ever medal in the games.

Delana won gold in the high jump F42 category for single leg amputees with a jump of 1.74 metres setting a new Oceania record in the process and becoming the first athlete ever in Fiji and the Pacific to win a gold medal in the Paralympic games.

Two other athletes cleared the bar at 1.74 meters but Delana was declared the winner after clearing the bar in his first attempt. 

Delana beat athletes from India, Poland, China, Brazil, the Philipines and Sri Lanka. 

Delana said victory is sweeter when you look back and see the challenges that you have endured along the way.

Delana recalls those rainy days when he used to train at the National Stadium with his coach Fred Fatiaki. They had no financial assistance.

The 27 year old Fiji Sportsman of the Year remembers times when he walked with his coach to the National Stadium because they were short of bus fare.

Speaking from London Delana said he didn’t let the challenges deter him from losing sight of his goal.
There is an audio file attached to this story. Please loginto listen. 

Delana’s coach Fred Fatiaki said he also recalls those struggling days they went through.

There is an audio file attached to this story. Please loginto listen. 

Fatiaki added Delana’s achievement should be a learning curve for people with disabilities because nothing is impossible.

President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said Delana has shown to all of us here and to the World what is humanly possible if one is to set his or her mind towards a certain goal.

He added sports in Fiji has always been known to bring people together irrespective of race, color or creed and he has no doubt that the entire nation will be united in celebrating this outstanding and historic achievement. 

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama is calling on all Fijians to join him in congratulating Delana.

Commodore Bainimarama added that Delana’s win should be celebrated by all Fijians.

Delana and Team Fiji are expected back in the country next week.

With Delana’s success, Digicel Fiji is offering all their prepaid customers free internet on their phone. 

Since 2010, Delana has been a Digicel Fiji brand ambassador and a member of its Customer Care Team.

Story by: Vijay Narayan, Akuila Cama & Dhanjay Deo

Farm boy wins gold

Maciu Malo
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
AS the nation celebrated the amazing achievement of Fijian athletics hero Iliesa Delana, his mother Lice Bulusui was in the dark over her son's outstanding history-creating performance at the London Paralympics.
Dressed in farm clothes, Ms Bulusui had just returned from the farm when The Fiji Times team arrived at the national hero's family home at Yalava, Nadrala in Nadroga yesterday.
She welcomed us with no idea about who we were. After the pleasantries, I told her I was there to get her comments about her son's achievement.
She asked, "What happened to Ili (Delana)?" I told her he had won a gold medal at the games.
For a moment, she turned her face to the sky with eyes closed, then whispered, "thank you Jesus", as tears flowed down her cheeks.
"This is the happiest day of my life," she said.
She invited us into their humble corrugated iron home which was decorated with Delana's numerous medals and awards.
Delana had won 16 medals in what can only be described as an outstanding athletic career — 13 of which were gold.
"He last called me on Sunday, asking me to pray for him as he prepared for this important assignment. Ili told me that his only concern was a Chinese athlete who was much more experienced than him and my message to him was, 'luvequ, just do your job, we'll pray for you'."
"This is definitely one of the most memorable moments that I will always treasure about Ili, especially since his humble beginnings from his childhood days here on this farm."
Ms Bulusui said Delana was only three years old when he was involved in an accident at Nasau Youth Training Camp at Nadroga that resulted in the amputation of his leg. She said her son had always wanted to be a rugby player but the accident changed his life.
"At times when I'd take him to school, I knew the disappointment he felt when watching his peers playing rugby on the field. I always felt for Ili but I never gave up on him becoming a successful person.
"He is a strong person and was never ashamed of his disability. He always encouraged me not to lose hope because he said the Almighty God had plans for everybody created on this world and that included him.
"Thank you for bringing me this good news. I now realise and reaffirm that the Almighty God has plans for everyone. And anything is possible through the power of prayer. Ili's dedication and the support he received made him a star," Ms Bulusui said.
Delana hails from Naigani Village, Batiki in Lomaiviti and attended Sigatoka Methodist Primary and High School, before pursuing further education at the then Fiji Institute of Technology now the Fiji National University.
He is also a part time student at the University of the South Pacific pursuing a career in Industrial Electrical Engineering and has been living with guardians, the Fatiaki family in Nausori for more than four years.

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