Paralympic gold medalists, Kehinde Paul and Bose Omolayo were at the Y!/YNaija.com office on Monday, January 30, 2017 to receive the Person of the Year 2016 award on behalf of their teammates.
The Paralympic team was last December selected among a shortlist of nominees including AY Makun, Peter Obi, Wizkid, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, Bukky Shonibare, The Chibok Girls and others.
“We are really happy that our efforts have been recognised by you. It will only encourage us to do more,” said Kehinde Paul who twice broke the Powerlifting World Record at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was accompanied by Bose Omolayo, the Nigerian Powerlifter who broke her own World Record in the Women’s 79kg event.
Team Nigeria finished seventeenth on the medals table with an impressive haul of 8 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals.
Comedian, AY Makun won the popular vote following a poll which ran for one month while the Paralympic team was picked by the Editorial Board of the newspaper for their outstanding performance at the Rio Games against all odds.
“The Paralympic team represents the determination of the everyday Nigerian to succeed despite the odds stacked against him. Their consistent performance at the global games is a testament to what we can achieve when we put our minds and body to it,” said Isime Esene, managing editor of YNaija.com. “The sheer grit displayed by these athletes will serve to inspire many others to excel in the face of perceived limitations.”
The Y!/YNaija.com Person of the Year is awarded to individuals who have most visibly influenced the Nigerian society for good in the past year, breaking new boundaries or consolidating on gains – and driving the advancement of the public, especially young people.
Past winners of the award include Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote; tech industry trailblazer, Jason Njoku; Obiageli Ezekwesili for championing the idea of the ‘Office of the Citizen’, and Josephine Ugwu for inspiring others with her uncommon honesty.