Toowoomba Region Mayor, Paul Antonio, has congratulated local resident turned Olympian, Peter Bol, for his inspiring performance at the Tokyo Games.
“I’d like to express my huge congratulations to Peter Bol for a sterling run in the men’s 800 metre Olympic Final in Tokyo yesterday. He is the essence of the Australian spirit,” Mayor Antonio said.
“From the young boy who fled war torn Sudan and arrived in Toowoomba as a refugee to Australian Olympian; Peter has overcome many obstacles and his journey is truly inspiring.
“Peter gave his all in the 800 metre final, his very best, and carried himself with joy, dignity and humility. He’s a wonderful example to our Region’s young sports men and women as well as our refugee community.
“I hope he knew when he took his position at the starting line that Toowoomba was behind him.”
Bol narrowly missed out on a coveted Olympic medal, finishing fourth after carrying the lead for most of the race but falling behind 100 metres out from the finishing line.
He is the first Australian to make the 800 metre Olympic final since 1968 when Ralph Doubell won gold.
Mayor Antonio said Bol’s Olympic journey told the story of what can be achieved when refugees are welcomed by regional communities.
“The Toowoomba Region is proudly one of Queensland’s largest refugee settlement areas and an official Refugee Welcome Zone,” Mayor Antonio said.
“We embrace diversity and celebrate the rich contributions different cultural groups make to our community.
“We’re a Region filled with caring and generous people and Peter showed us how our refugee community can overcome the obstacles they faced in their home countries and what they can aspire to when supported with compassion and new opportunities.
“That’s why we’ll continually advocate for critical Australian Government funding to keep delivering vital programs and services for the Toowoomba Region’s refugee community.
“Through the work of the wider community, we’ve met the needs of our Region’s refugee community by including them in decision making and through the development of strong leadership programs.”
Mayor Antonio said while he was especially heart-warmed by Bol’s achievements at the Games, he extended his best wishes and congratulations to all Australian Olympians competing in Tokyo who hail from the Toowoomba Region and Darling Downs.
“As a Sudanese-Australian, Bol’s Olympic journey is just that extra bit special and I’m extremely proud to be Mayor of the Toowoomba Region today,” Mayor Antonio said.
“There are a number of athletes and sports men and women wearing the green and gold at the 2021 Games who call our wonderful pocket of Queensland home.
“From Toowoomba’s Patrick Tiernan and Allora’s Matt Denny to women Rugby Sevens stars Dominique Du Toit and Demi Hayes; there’s a wealth of sporting talent on the Darling Downs.
“My warmest congratulations to everyone who has represented Australia at the Tokyo Olympic Games, you’ve done our Region proud.”