The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has asked the Government to name streets after South Africa’s 2012 Olympic champions.
“While Government is busy renaming streets and some facilities after people who fought against apartheid in different ways, the ACDP hereby appeals to them to consider honouring these Olympic champions by naming some streets or facilities that are still to be renamed after them,” said ACDP leader Dr Kenneth Meshoe during a debate in Parliament to honour Team South Africa’s success in the London Olympics.
“Government has honoured many dead people, now is the time to start honouring the living champions who have put South Africa on the international map,” said Meshoe.
He said the ACDP paid tribute to all the athletes who represented SA at the Olympics and who brought home medals. He singled out four athletes for special honour.
“The first is Cameron van der Burgh who set a world record of 58.46 seconds in the 100 meters breaststroke, to become the first South African to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event.
“As water sport is bringing this country more gold medals than any other sport, government should invest more resources in water sport, so that our swimmers can successfully defend their world records and bring us more gold medals.
“The opportunity should also be seized to train black swimmers. We do not want to be like the rest of Africa that has failed to produce black professional swimmers who won Olympic medals.
“The second athlete is Siziwe Ndlovu. Ndlovu, who was part of the victorious South African lightweight men’s four that included teammates James Thompson, Matthew Brittain and John Smith, caused a major upset by beating favourites, Great Britain, to win a gold medal.
“Indeed, Sizwe Ndlovu has been an inspiration to a new generation of black athletes who I hope, will plan to take part in water sports also. The ACDP salutes Sizwe and his team-mates for winning South Africa’s first ever Olympic rowing gold medal.
“The third one is Oscar Pistorius, who is also known as the ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘the fastest man on no legs. Pistorius, who has a double below knee amputation, is the world record holder for T44 in the 100, 200 and 400 metres events.
“At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Pistorius became the first double leg amputee to participate in the Olympics when he entered the men’s 400 metres race and was part of South Africa’s 4×400 metres relay team.
“The fourth is swimmer, Chad le Clos, who ended the reign of his all-time hero and two-time Olympic champion, Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly.
“These men did not only win gold medals but they made history and deserve to be honoured,” said Meshoe.