North Belfast MLA Paula Bradley has congratulated Glengormley runner Michael McKillop on his double gold winning success and being recognised as the male athlete who best exemplified the spirit of the Paralympics at this years competitions.
In Stormont on Monday a special motion was passed recognising Michael and his achievements along with all the other atheltes who made the Games a success.
The DUP representative said: “Michael McKillop has excelled in these Paralympics, retaining his 800metre title and also winning the T37 1500m.
“Now to be named as the male athlete who best embodies the spirit of the Paralympics is a very special and unique honour.
“What a wonderful young man he is. I offer my whole-hearted congratulations to Michael on this richly-deserved award in recognition of his inspirational work with schoolchildren.
“I met Michael during my term of office as Mayor of Newtownabbey and have seen for myself his dedication and commitment to sporting excellence.
“He is a great credit to his family and to the community. Everyone in Newtownabbey and across north Belfast takes great pride in this special award.
“The London Games took the theme of ‘inspiring a generation’ and Michael’s award is very much in keeping with that.
“He can look forward to an enthusiastic home-coming which he richly deserves.”
She added: “Indeed, we have been inspired by the efforts and the success of athletes from across Northern Ireland in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“Tonight we will be holding a reception at Stormont to congratulate and recognise all those from Northern Ireland who have competed and won medals in the London Games. It was good that the new term of the Northern Ireland Assembly could start on a positive note with a motion of congratulation to Michael on his special award and recognising the efforts all athletes from Northern Ireland who have competed in the Games this summer. This is a demonstration of how sporting success can bring us together.”
Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín also praised Michael along with all those athletes taking part.
She said: “Years of training, dedication and effort have come to fruition, as our athletes competed on the world stage. Events have been won, world records broken and new standards set.
“Medallists have quite rightly been the focus, though everyone from the north who took part can be justifiably proud - not only of what they have achieved, but also the example they have set for others. They are an inspiration to us all.”