Sunita Lobo, a student of Manasa Rehabilitation and Training Centre at Pambur in Udupi, who was part of the 11-member floor hockey team from India, which won a gold medal at the Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Pyeongchang in South Korea, was given a rousing reception at Katapady near here on Saturday.
Members of various organisations, students and teachers of Manasa Centre, elected representatives and local people were present to receive Ms. Lobo.
As soon as she arrived, people shouted slogans hailing her achievement and garlanded her.
Speaking to presspersons, Ms. Lobo said she was delighted to have been part of the team which won gold at the Special Olympics.
There was tough competition at the Olympics, but it had given her a positive experience. “The determination of our team which performed amid the extreme weather conditions in South Korea has been rewarded and we won. I hurt my leg thrice during the games,” she said.
The victory had improved her confidence. She would continue her passion for sports, Ms. Lobo said.
Ms. Lobo’s sister Lavina Lobo said that Sunita Lobo had put in a lot of efforts with the intention of excelling at the Olympics. The achievement has delighted the family. “The credit for the achievement should go to the Centre and its teachers. When we heard that it was snowing in South Korea during the Olympics, we were concerned. Despite that, she and her team have won the medal,” she said.
Upendra Nayak, president of Udupi Zilla Panchayat, Remedia D’Souza, president of the Manasa Rehabilitation and Training Centre, Thelma Lewis, principal of the Centre, Geetanjali Suvarna and Ida Gibba D’Souza, zilla panchayat members, were among those who were present to receive Ms. Lobo.
She was then taken in an open decorated vehicle in a procession from Katapady to Pambur. The children of local schools en-route cheered and applauded Sunita.
A felicitation function was held at Pambur. Lalaji Mendon, Kaup MLA, and Vasanth Salian, former MLA, were among those present.