José, César, Daniel, Francisco, Rui, João and Nuno. The “Magnificent seven”, Porto champions in the Euro TriGames, were received this Thursday morning at the Council Chambers. The first edition of the European Championship for athletes with Trisomy 21 took place in October, in Italy, and the Portuguese brought home 63 medals.
“Your effort and dedication are an example and an inspiration to all of us”, started by saying the mayor of Porto at the reception of the “Magnificent seven” who “had a remarkable performance”.
Underscoring that “success never happens by chance”, Rui Moreira stated that “the excellent results are, in themselves, a victory that deserves our applause, but also the public recognition and the gratitude of this City Hall”.
For the mayor, gratitude must be extended “to coaches, trainers, physicians, managers, family members and, particularly, to the clubs and associations that do not give up on adapted sports and promote equal opportunities, allowing athletes to value themselves as individuals and achieve excellent sports performances”.
Acknowledging that “sport is a fundamental instrument for equality and for a better inclusion”, Rui Moreira recalled the Municipality’s commitment to this mission, namely through the “free provision of municipal sports facilities, swimming pools, sports halls and large fields for 12 clubs and several Porto institutions , in carrying out specific adapted swimming classes for children and young people in the Municipal Swimming pool in Constituição, and the payment of sports medical exams to 55 athletes of adapted sports”, but also in the “extension of the sport development contracts that we celebrate each season with three more specific national associations such as the National Sports Association for Intellectual Development, the National Sports Association for People with Visual Impairment and the Cerebral Palsy National Sports Association”.
In addition to supporting events such as the International Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, the Adapted Swimming Tournament or the Para-Karate tournament, the mayor also highlighted “the partnership we established this year with the Porto Adapted Sports Association to benefit our municipal summer camps, which allowed, for the first time, for a specialised monitoring of 34 children and young people with special educational needs”.
“We know there’s still a lot to do, but we will not give up on that mission. That’s the commitment we leave you with today”, assured Rui Moreira.
The seven athletes now honoured were: José Miguel Silva, a Futebol Clube do Porto athlete, for the third place achieved with the national basketball team; César Morais and Daniel Maia, both Futebol Clube do Porto athletes, who brought home the silver medal in futsal; Francisco Mesquita Montes, ADADA - Adapted Sports Association of Porto, for the three medals in swimming: gold in the 1500m freestyle, silver in the 800m freestyle and bronze in the 4x200m freestyle relay; Rui Miguel Pestana, Futebol Clube do Porto, for the 1st place in 4x50m freestyle relay swimming modality, João Oliveira, also Futebol Clube do Porto, for being the champion in teams table tennis and, Nuno Fernandes, from the Portuguese Association of Parents and Friends of Mentally Disabled Citizens of Porto (APPACDM), for the two silver medals in 4x100m and 4x400m relay race, athletics modality.
Present at the tribute, at the Council Chambers, were also Sebastião Feyo de Azevedo, President of the Municipal Assembly, Filipe Araújo Porto’s vice-mayor, Catarina Araújo, councilwoman for the department of sports, Cristina Pimentel and Ilda Figueiredo, councilwomen, José Costa Pereira, the president of the National Sports Association for Intellectual Development, Vítor Dias, Noth Regional Director of the Instituto Português do Desporto e Juventude as well as the athletes’ families.
The group integrated the delegation of 40 participants in the European for athletes with Trisomy 21. The Portuguese mission brought 63 medals from the competition 30 gold, 20 silver and 13 bronze. Portugal was the second nation with the most medals won in swimming and the third in athletics, but the Portuguese still competed in basketball, futsal, judo, and table tennis. 400 athletes from 17 countries participated in the European TriGames.