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From Fiji Times Online (13 September 2012)

Mum's welcome

by Timoci Vula

"VINAKA Liesa, vinaka luvequ nai sausau levu o sa laki kauta mai." (Thank you Liesa, thank you luvequ for the high achievements you have come back with).

These were the words of an emotional and elated Lice Bulusui, the mother of F42 golden Paralympic high jumper Iliesa Delana who left Sigatoka yesterday to greet her champion son at the Holiday Inn in Suva.

In a solemn occasion inside Delana's hotel room yesterday, Ms Bulusui thanked her son for his faith in God as his guide and provider.

She also acknowledged the care and love of the Fatiaki family of Nausori, with whom her son had been living with for some time with their son Freddy Fatiaki, Delana's coach.

Members of the Delana and the Fatiaki family at the Holiday Inn.

Picture: Atu Rasea

Au via vakavinavinakataki Freddy e na yalo e tu vua me kerei nonai tubutubu me tiko vata kei kemudou o Iliesa. Au vakavinavinakataka talega na vakavuvuli e soli vua mai vale. (I want to thank Freddy for having the heart to ask his parents for Iliesa to stay with your family.)

I also want to acknowledge the teachings and advice given to him, she said, as she continually wiped her tears.

Yesterday not only marked Delana's homecoming from victory following the historical jump in London, it also marked the first time Ms Bulusui had to meet the Fatiaki family.

Au vakavinavinakataka na nodatou sa na mai duavata e na vuku ni nodrau veiwekani o Freddy kei Delana. Oqo e dua nai sema datou na sega ni guilecava rawa ka datou na duavata talega kei ira na veisoqosoqo lotu, na vei soqosoqo e so ka ra marautaka vata tiko na i sausau levu oqo. (I acknowledge the relationship we have established through Freddy and Delana.

This will be one we will find hard to forget, and we must unite with other religious bodies and other organisations in celebrating this huge achievement), Ms Bulusui said.

Coach Freddy Fatiaki also took the time, on the three-member team's behalf, to acknowledge the support and prayers from family, friends and fans.

Na ka keirau a dau kaya tu ga ni ka kece qo e rawa ga e na cakacaka vata. (We have always told ourselves that all these are possible if we work together as a team), Mr Fatiaki said.

Looking tired after the long haul, the champ still managed to smile when we approached him in his hotel room.

He said he could not believe all that had been planned for him.

I did not expect all this, it is a lot. I just want to thank the Almighty for all this, the government and the sponsors for their support, Delana said.

And he has just one message.

Nothing is hard in achieving your dream only if you do not give up. Nothing is hard, he said.

Delana will be escorted to the Vodafone Arena today after a march organised from the Suva Flea Market to Albert Park, where he will be accorded a guard of honour.

A total of $37,000 has been allocated for this national celebration.

See Fiji Sun article