South African Gold Winner Promotes Equality
By Manwadu Rofhiwa, 17, and Ralulimi Mukovhe, 15
Scholastic News Online Student Reporters, South Africa

Global Youth Summit member Ralulimi Mukovhe and gold medalist Gail Bugana. Both are from South Africa. (Photos: Michael Rasikhinya)
June 28—Gail Bugana of South Africa wants all mentally disabled people to be able to showcase their talents and meet their full potential. At 20 years old, Gail is certainly on her way to meeting her own personal goals. She won a gold medal in the 100 m run at the Special Olympics World Games in Dublin, Ireland, this week.

Gail grew up in the village of Phadzima in the Limpopo province, a remote area of South Africa. She now lives in Alexandra Township in the Gauteng Province near Johannesburg, the capital of South Africa. She attends a special school in Alexandra Township. She joined Special Olympics in 2001.

"Today I feel great. I won a gold medal in World Games," she said. "I don't think I can ask for more than this."

The secret to her success, she said, is hard work and believing in herself. She asks that all people treat those with mental disabilities like everyone else.

"Stop laughing at us," she said. "We have our own abilities like any other one. Give us a chance to display our wonderful gifts and help all those who don't know about Special Olympics to have the information and get involved."