Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Someone Stole Our Medals!

                 So it is my first-year anniversary as a blogger, I was hoping that I would not need to rant but some geniuses decided to interrupt my celebration. The whole world has been glued for the past two weeks basking in the glory of the athletes, they sent to represent them at the London Olympics. And what were we doing instead of supporting our own we were busy adopting other countries to support.
                We had to watch in awe as the likes of Usain Bolt (we really don’t care about the othersprinters), Mo Farah, David Rudisha, Michael Phelps, Gabby Douglas and others scaled the summit of their sport, taking home gold medals. In case you haven’t already noticed none of the previous names are Zambian. Because like always our athletes just went there to be tourists and get autographs. The boxer, Gilbert Choombe had stage fright while the judoka, Boas Munyonga somehow decided to forget the rules. Seriously, I am sure they could have come up with better excuses than that. Stage fright of all things, what did he expect to be boxing in front of the judges with no spectators and no lights? What about the judoka, how on earth does he forget the rules? It is like Emmanuel Mayuka forgetting that he is a striker and handles the ball in the 18 area and says that he thought he was the goalkeeper. The swimmers did not fare any better either. Their qualification times were not good enough and they too were dismissed in the first rounds.
                The only one who was our saving grace and gave us a whisker of hope was Gerald Phiri when he reached the 100m semi-final. When that flame was blown out with it went our medal dreams at the London 2012 Olympics. Why Gerald Phiri chooses to run the 100m is beyond my scope of thinking. Frankly, unless Usain Bolt breaks a leg, Yohan Blake catches flu, Tyson Gay retires and Asafa Powell decides to take a vacation, Gerald Phiri can forget about winning a 100m race. My bet would have been to opt for the 800m or 1500m where his fellow Africans have dominated with the likes of Rudisha breaking the world record at these Olympics.
                Anyway what would we expect from athletes when our very own delegates said that they did not expect the athletes to reap any medals but they were going there to gain exposure. Oh wow! They were just short of saying that we are going on vacation on taxpayers' money. After such announcements, we do not honestly expect our Olympians to come up with gold medal winning performances. Sometimes I feel sorry for them. After the Chipolopolo won the Africa Cup, we expect nothing but the absolute best from our sports men and women. However, maybe we are unfair to expect so much when they are not adequately supported.
                The fact in Zambia is that if you do not play men’s football, then you can go to hell. Few are willing to pay attention. The rest of the sports have to continually beg and appeal to sponsors for whatever activities they have. The infrastructure to support them is almost none existent. Before the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium, there was barely an international standard running track. Furthermore, taking athletes for three weeks intensive training before the Olympics is not sufficient. It requires years of proper training. I mean sports such as Javelin, Long Jump, High Jump, Volleyball and even track do not need massive infrastructure. Perhaps what needs to be done is to identify talent and get the proper coaches to work with these individuals. Whatever happened to the inter-schools athletics events? If they are still there what about upgrading them and spotting talent. Before the self-proclaimed legend, Bolt was a world record breaking gold medalist, he was a school and world junior champion.
                When the Rio 2016 Olympics roll by it would have been 20 years since our last medal (silver) by Samuel Matete in the 400m hurdles in Atlanta, unless something drastic is done we will simply be sending tourists. Maybe the athletes will blame their losses on the fact that they saw women with real Brazilian hair.lol. If the attitude that we still have that we are only sending athletes for exposure continues, then I pray for no teams to make it to the Olympics for we sure do need the money for more worthy national ventures.

1 comment:

  1. Zambia has a long way to go... frankly speaking i didnt see the point of taking 35 delegates to represent 7 olympians... and then for a country of 13m why only send 7 delegates??? I was so angry at that exposure statement i mean how many trips do we have to make till we got exposed??? On a LIGHTER NOTE, the brazillian hair statement...hilarious!!