A Heroes Welcome...
Wheelchair fencer Ealing’s Dimitri Coutya was honoured this week at the House of Commons along with the nation’s other Paralympic heroes as UK “superhumans” were welcomed back from the Paralympic Games in Rio at a reception held by Channel 4. Ealing’s Labour MPs Rupa Huq and Steve Pound were on hand to give him a warm welcome. The games were the UK’s most successful ever Paralympics as Brits finished second to China in the medal table.
MP for Ealing Central and Acton Rupa Huq said “It’s great to meet up with Dimitri in Parliament who lives near Pitshanger just round the corner from my old childhood home. Competing at just 18 years old and rushing off to Rio immediately after having finished his A-levels at St Benedict’s School, he is an inspiration to us all”.
Channel 4 pointed out that during Rio 2016 they broadcast over 700 hours of Paralympics coverage watched by 28 million people, nearly half of all UK TV viewers. Rupa added “It’s important to celebrate our Paralympians to Parliament. We have made great strides in disability discrimination legislation particularly under Labour in government. Promoting Para sport across the country and in Parliament is important in fostering the values of diversity, equality, nurturing talent and inspiring change in past stereotypes of disability”.
Shuna Body MBE, UK Team Leader of Wheelchair Fencing commented “It was so wonderful to have such interest from MPs. I have worked with Dimitri since he first came to us, and it was such a privilege to be Team Leader for Wheelchair Fencing at Rio. He really is a star and I firmly believe he has a huge sporting career ahead of him. It was lovely to meet you.”