Village girl to fly Mzansi flag high at Abu Dhabi summer games

Gopolang Mogale will be representing South Africa in Dubai for the Special Olympics
Gopolang Mogale will be representing South Africa in Dubai for the Special Olympics
Image: Supplied

A 17-year-old girl from Pankop village in Mpumalanga will fly the Mzansi flag high during the Abu Dhabi 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games later this month.

Gopolang Mogale, who is living with an intellectual disability, will be competing in the 100m and 200m races after she won the domestic competition.

Now she believes she will be bigger and better than her icon Caster Semenya.

“I am Caster Semenya,” she said excitedly, adding that she will be on a plane for the first time.

Her coach France Phago, who works at Mantjedi Special School, said Mohale was enrolled at the special needs school after teachers in her former school realised that she was battling in the mainstream system.

“She came here in 2016 and we soon realised that she is talented after she excelled in athletics,” said Phago.

Mogale is raised by her unemployed mother Lizzy and her step-father who is a security guard.

Her proud mother said: “I used to be so sad because people in the community would call her names. I was concerned about her future but now there seems to be hope for her. I am so happy, I don’t even know what to do.”

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