1. ITV Report

Haiti team arrive ahead of their first ever Paralympic Games

The London 2012 Paralympic Games is due to start next Wednesday August 29.

This year, 4,200 athletes from 174 countries are competing in 20 sports.

All this week ITV News will be profiling some of the key sports to watch.

Reporter Lewis Vaughan Jones meets the first ever Haitian paralympic team:

Josue Cajuste and Nephtalie Jean Louis will be competing in the javelin and the shot put.

Ten percent of the teams coming London 2012 Paralympics are coming for the first time but undoubtedly one of the countries that will be in the spotlight is Haiti.

ITV News has spoken to Team Coach Malcolm Wallace and its only two members Josue Cajuste and Nepthalie Jean Louis.

They tell us their story growing up in a country where even though 1 in 10 are disabled, there is little recognition of those with disabilities.

Josue says sport gave him hope when he was lonely because of his disability.

It is also hoped that this will be the first time the Paralympics will be broadcast back in Haiti and there are hopes this will help raise the profile of the disabled community.

As well as help from the 'Dream' Project (formed by; Haiti Hospital Appeal, Global Hand and BMS World Mission) the Haitian Paralympic team have relied on the help of donations and help from the public, Michel Philistin has been hosting the athletes in London before they went in to the Paralympic village:

Josue Cajuste facts:

  • Josue has been disabled since birth with one leg much shorter than the other making walking difficult
  • From a young age he was very active, regularly escaping from home to go climbing trees and sometimes houses with his friends.
  • He was spotted playing football with some friends in 2010, and asked to join an amputee football team.
  • Then in 2011 when on a trip with his team to the United States, he was introduced to the Javelin and Shot Put which he has been competing in ever since.

Nephtalie Jean Louis facts:

  • Nephtalie has been disabled since polio damaged her leg when she was 8 months old.
  • Nephtalie was happy to try her hand at any sport she could, but initially focused on power-lifting.
  • In 2008 she was the sole member of the Haitian team to go to Beijing although problems with her weight meant she could not compete.

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