Randika standing tall at the 6th World Dwarf Games
Courtesy of Newslanka
Published: 07 Sep 2013
For the 2nd consecutive time Randika walked tall by being the only Sri Lankan athlete at the 6th World Dwarf Games in East Lansing, Michigan United States of America from the 3rd to the 10th of August 2013.
She mentioned "It's a proud moment and a blessing to walk down on the tracks of Belfast, N. Ireland in 2009 and East Lansing, Michigan in 2013 as the first and only athlete representing Sri Lanka. A few years ago I never thought that my dream of doing a sport will ever come true. Look at me now I am an international athlete. It is definitely an opportunity that should not be missed especially to meet people from different countries who are more or less the same height as me and compete at the same level."
Randika brought glory to our motherland by winning two gold medals for Sri Lanka becoming the first Sri Lankan athlete to win gold in any World Dwarf Games, Paralympics or Olympics. She won her first medal in the badminton beating Deidre Nagle from Great Britain, the previous World Champion from 4 years ago, in the final. She also won gold in the boccia event by beating Alyssa Biddle from Australia, the key member of the Australian gold winning boccia team, emphatically in the final. She also a part of the Ladies GB football team who beat the United States of America to win gold.
This is what Randika said when we asked her about her achievements.
"I was able to overcome adversity and prove to myself and my country that being of restricted growth doesn't mean you can't achieve your dream. It's not about winning itâ€™s about choosing what you want to be and what you can do, recognising it and giving it 100%. It's about not letting your disability beat you, proving to others and yourself that despite your disability you can still achieve amazing goals. You can still stand tall and be proud of your own achievements. Of course winning is a bonus
I wouldn't have been able to do it without the support from my husband, family and friends . I was sponsored by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Alliance Finance of Sri lanka. The SLTPB was kind enough to support me for the second time. Also I would like to thank Col Rajitha Ampemohotti & Col. Rajeeva Wickramasighe from Rehab Lanka Sports club for providing me with membership and organising my sports attire for the games. I am also deeply thankful to Alliance Finance of Sri Lanka for having sponsored my travel to the games. For 57 years, Alliance Finance has been assisting people achieve their dreams and I'm thankful for their generosity in helping me represent Sri Lanka at the games. Alliance Finance is committed to the Triple Bottom Line Business philosophy and conducts its activities with high level of awareness of issues concerning people and our planet in the addition to creating economic value."
With her remarkable success Randika hopes to inspire others to follow in her footsteps and hopefully join her by helping to create a bigger Sri Lankan team to go to the next World Dwarf Games in 4 years time. She added "I really hope that people will start thinking about disability in a different light. Sri Lanka is far behind in seeing peoplesâ€™ talents outside what they call the 'norm'. I am not judging the society in Sri Lanka but I hope that they will now appreciate the diversity of all Sri Lankans, see beyond peoples' disability and accept and include everyone in society."
Courtesy of Newslanka