One-legged athlete from Seychelles to participate in Brazil Paralympics
File Photo: Cyril Charles will be Seychelles' only athlete at the Paralympic Games in Brazil. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A Seychellois man will participate in the Paralympic Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in September.
Cyril Charles, a one-legged amputee, will compete in the javelin event in the Paralympic Games, which is the biggest sporting event for athletes with physical, mental and sensorial impairment. The Paralympic Games is typically held immediately after the Olympic Games.
The president of the Paralympics Association of Seychelles, Alain Volcere, told SNA that Charles was chosen among three applicants for wild card spots.
“I believe Cyril was chosen mainly because he is already involved in many different sporting activities, both locally and at the regional level,” said Volcere.
Charles won the gold medal in in the men’s 100 metre freestyle event for the disabled in the sixth Indian Ocean Island Games in Mauritius in 2003 and silver in the 2011 edition in Seychelles.
Charles is training in preparation for the event with his coach Vincent Cedras, with the assistance of the national team coach.
Cedras told SNA he is happy that one of his athletes is participating in the Paralympics.
“This is what we aim for always, to participate in the Paralympics and I am very happy we at least have one representing Seychelles,” Cedras said.
On the question of winning a medal, Cedras said it is going to be very tough as Charles have not gone through intensive training, but they will keep their hopes high.
“We will be facing people who live and breathe javelin, the best from across the world but you never know in sports what can happen. We might get lucky,” he said.
Volcere said for a small country like Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, this is a fantastic opportunity for a disabled athlete to participate in one of the biggest sports manifestations.
Volcere added that the local Paralympics Association is “using this sporting event to further the cause for an inclusive society where people with disabilities are included in the mainstream.”
The Seychelles delegation will also include a medical doctor, Lucia Banane, who is also a certified classifier under the International Paralympics Committee (IPC). In Paralympics athletes are grouped by the degree of activity limitation as a result of their impairment.
Classifiers work on a panel of three to assess which athletes are eligible for which sports and how they are grouped together for competition. This is done to allow fair competition with people with different types of disabilities.
The Seychelles delegation will leave the country on Saturday.