LONDON, United Kingdom (defend.ht) - Two athletes from Haiti and their coaches arrived in Bounds Green, a northern suburb of London, England, on Friday for the 2012 Paralympics Games.
Josue Cajuste and Nephtalie Jean Louis are hoping to medal for Haiti in their respective events, the shotput and the javelin.
They travelled 4,500 miles and were taken in by Michel Philistin, a British national of Haitian descent who opened his doors and told the Hornsey Journal, "to me, they are family."
Cajuste is 28 and was disabled from birth but still managed to excel in sports, from soccer to swimming. He told the journal, "I used to play football [using crutches] with other people without disabilities... sometimes I used to fall, but they did not laugh."
The 28 year old played in an international tournament in Miami recently. "We played with people without disabilities, and we won 3-0," said Cajuste about being on the team.
Nephtalie Jean Louis contracted polio when she was young and began playing sports in 2006. She dreamed of being a police officer, but became a receptionist.
Nephtalie is 33 and hopes doing well in London will help more disabled people achieve their dreams.
“The children do not think they are anybody,” she said. “Normally with disabled people, they have a lot of talents, a lot of abilities but most of the time they do not find the help in order to show them to capacity."
“The message is [to people at home], all of the world saw that other disabled people have these kinds of abilities and they will know they can do better. They can have the same opportunities as other people.”
Related 08.03.2012: Haiti's Marlena Wesh Advances to Semi-Finals in Olympic 400m Competition
Related 07.30.2012: Diver Jennifer Abel Wins Bronze for Canada
Related 07.05.2012: Haiti Native Sets High School Sprint Record as 8th Grader
Source: Hornsey Journal UK