In a race to win, humanity paused and prevailed, as people witnessed the soft side of Tour of Oman cyclists on its final leg. The cyclists were seen interacting with the special needs children and their parents at Al Mouj before the start of the final race.
Everyone, including Jan Hirt was not sure that he would be the overall winner before the start of the race, but way before the crucial race, he won many hearts by gracefully pausing for the children with special needs and saying "hello" to them.
“To give our students a rare exposure of an international event like the Tour of Oman, we had gathered at the Al Mauj venue before the start of the race with the permission of the organising authorities. Despite knowing that the race is final and crucial, we took a chance by asking Jan Hirt if he could meet the children,” said Mahesh Verma, who helped start Paradise Valley, an inclusive school both for children with special needs along with normal ones.
“Why not, Jan Hirt said gracefully, came towards the children, leaned and wished them,” he said.
Sarah Salmon, the mother of Teo Salmon, was overwhelmed with the response of the cyclists for making the moment special not only for the children but for their parents also.
“In fact their rare gesture was towards the whole society, which needs to understand the cause of the children with special needs and their parents. Society needs to work for them,” said Sarah, who is from Belgium.
“A great champion is a true inspiration for our little ones showing that with strong will and a kind heart, one can achieve all the goals! Sport is a great way to promote inclusion, which is the values we defend for our children, in our school, and in the Sultanate of Oman. The cyclists’ gesture means a lot for the children with special needs,” she said.
Besides Teo, Euan Scott, Brodie Scott, Zein Ayoub al Balushi and their parents Sarah Salmon, Nikita Scott and Ayoob Rahi Janki met the cyclists.
All the parents were overwhelmed over the gesture of the cyclists taking part in the Tour of Oman and its organisers for the opportunity extended to the students.