Para-Taekwondo athlete to the Paralympic Games Shauna-Kay Hines was left gushing about her experience on her return to the island from Tokyo, Japan, on Monday.
Hines, along with President of the Jamaica Paralympic Association Christopher Samuda and other members of the technical staff were greeted by State Minister in the Ministry of Sports, Alando Terrelonge at the Norman Manley International Airport.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Hines. “Seeing different athletes [from] around the world with all [types of] disabilities, my knowledge has been exposed to different types of disabilities and despite having disabilities, everybody around the world came together as one.
“One of the hashtags for the Paralympics was “united by emotions” and that for me meant a lot, because I was there from a small island, Jamaica, from the Caribbean along with my teammates and representing at the highest level in sport.”
Hines, who failed to win in either of her two bouts in the Para-Taekwondo competition, wasn’t totally satisfied with her own performance, but is ready to get back to work to make things better while urging support for the Paralympic movement.
“My performance wasn’t what I wanted, but there is a lot for me to put in place. Back to the drawing board, along with support from Jamaica and all the bodies that can come together to let us be back on that world stage for 2024 and beyond,” she said.
Minister Terrelonge spoke of the pride the nation has felt from the performance of the Paralympians in Tokyo.
“We are so pleased to be welcoming home more of our Paralympians. They have done so much to make us all feel proud as a nation. Shauna has been doing Taekwondo for a number of years and she has done very, very well. We look forward to seeing her growth as she continues and all of our Paralympians, as they continue to represent Jamaica,” he said.
President Samuda, who is also President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, spoke of the character displayed by Jamaica’s Paralympians in Tokyo.
“The performance was more than creditable. I think our athletes displayed the character and the mettle. When you look at, comparatively speaking, other athletes and the facilities that they have and the competitions that they go to continuously, our athletes have done admirably well.
“We teach our Paralympians to demonstrate good character before gold medals because once you have that character then the gold medals will fall in place and I want to commend our team for the excellent work that they have done.”
Four athletes represented Jamaica at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, veteran Sylvia Grant, Alberto Campbell, Shauna-Kay Hines and Theador Subba.