When Dr. Tim Shriver, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics asked Special Olympics Tanzania whether we could organize for one of our athletes to accompany Mr. Michael Dee and Salihin, an athlete from Singapore, on an attempt at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, we confidently said “YES”. We mentioned Herith Suleiman and immediately started training him.
Special Olympics Athletes reach new heights and conquer Kilimanjaro
Reaching for a dream
23 year old Herith is a soccer player who joined Special Olympics in 2001. He is the proud holder of two World Games Medals – silver in Dublin (2003) and gold in Shanghai (2007). He is the Chair of Special Olympics Tanzania Athletes, the Athlete representative on the Tanzania Board and a trained assistant coach. He also plays for a local club in his home village.
When we first told Herith about the plans he was very happy and promised not to let Special Olympics down. He promised to” be brave in the attempt
Mr Mohhamed O. Shabhy, Managing Director of MEM Tours and Safari in Moshi, very generously sponsored Herith and the other climbers.
After a month of intensive training, Herith was ready for the climb.
Herith had no problems with the climb and was nicknamed “Simba” by the porters and other climbers, the Swahili word for “Lion”
On 14th June 2011, Special Olympics athletes, Herith and Salihin proved to the world that nothing is impossible. They became the first Special Olympics athletes to conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro, the second highest point in Africa, the second in the World and the highest single standing mountain in the world. How we wish could enter this into the Guinness Book of Records.