South Africa Makes a Comeback
By Ralulimi Mukovhe, 15, and Manwadu Rofhiwa, 17

Members of the South African soccer team stop to talk to Global Youth Summit members from their home country.
Members are (from left) Oupa Ismael (23); Molefi Kgosi (18); Percy Monanthane (25); Mpho Letlake (24); Sipho Mahlangu; Bongani and Stephen Sithole (coach).
(Photo: Michael Rasikhinya)

June 26—South Africa's soccer team started the tournament at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland, by losing their first two games against Israel and Bosnia. But then they recovered, and came in for an easy win in their third game. They did well enough in the end to win a bronze medal in their division.

"When we started, we made a lot of mistakes and we paid dearly by losing our first crucial games," said one member of the team.

After recovering from their first two losses, they began to win.

"We are going to guard against complacency," they said before the final round of competition was to begin. "Our team is balanced, so we don't have to panic."

The agreed that all are enjoying themselves at the Games.

"We have already met a lot of friends around here," said another member of the team. "We hope this chance could be available to everyone."

The trip to Dublin is the first time for any of them to travel with the team.