Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympics - non-performing athletes and spineless Administrators


Olympics is all about the indomitable spirit – the intense preparations, the hardwork, the strategy, the pride of representing One’s Nation and more… often lack of infrastructure and patronage is cited as reasons for some Nations not doing well !!

From every Victory and Defeat, there are lessons to be learnt !  -  there was the strong message from the officials of a tiny island-  St Kitts and Nevis dramatically dropped out their ace sprinter  Kim Collins as he reportedly visited his wife without permission.  The athlete, a prospective medal hope claimed that   he was given permission to see her for a night, but St Kitts and Nevis officials said they had not heard from him for three days. They cancelled his accreditation for the London 2012 Games. 

Compare this with the way IOA handled our tennis stars who returned with nothing.   In  June 2012, the All India Tennis Association  announced the double pair ‘Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi’ for the men's doubles event of the London Olympics – Bhupathi expressed reluctance to play alongside Paes.  AITA compromised by announcing 2  teams for Olympics, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna as one team and the other team consisting of Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan. One often hears that ‘Nation should come first’ – but whims, fancies, opinions, biases, prejudices, bickering, wrangling, foul mouth, ego, belittling others and everything else was in forefront – as player after player angered their choice expletives, yet AITA remained mute and went after pacifying everyone.   Paes spoke so ill about the class and caliber of Vishnu Vardhan. Paes was  compensated by being named for the mixed doubles along with Sania Mirza, thereby turning Bhupathi's desire to play alongside her.  AITA was on its knees, conceded to all their demands and went flat requesting them to play in the "best interest of the nation".   

The  Administrative body never tried to put in place a code of conduct for players –  and not allow individuals to be above the body and the Nation itself ?  To reward Sania [it was another that photos circulated on web that she did not carry Indian flag in the parade],  AITA sent  Sania Mirza's mother Nasima, who has nothing to write home about in the racquet sport as  manager of the national women team which had two women players – Sania and Rushmi.  – and what the Nation got is all too well known !!!!!

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Elsewhere is a small Nation called ‘Cameroon’ , in west Central Africa - bordered by Nigeria, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of Congo.  The country is called "Africa in miniature" for its geological and cultural diversity. Cameroon is home to over 200 different linguistic groups and is known  for its native styles of music.  Portuguese explorers reached the coast in the 15th century and named the area Rio dos Camarões ("River of Prawns"), the name from which Cameroon derives.  Compared to other African countries, Cameroon enjoys relatively high political and social stability.

Cameroon’s average cocoa-export price rose 7.8 percent in the week to Aug. 6 from a week earlier- a total of 170,441 metric tons has been exported since the start of the season, compared with 193,851 tons shipped in the previous year during the same period.  That did not make much of news as the news of ‘Seven Cameroon athletes including five boxers knocked out of competition disappearing from Olympic Village’.

The colourful contingent at Opening Parade : photo courtesy www.dailymail.co.uk

It is feared that the Seven Cameroon athletes who have disappeared whilst in Britain may be intending to claim asylum, according to an official from the country.  Mission head, David Ojong, was quoted as stating that the seven sportsmen, are suspected of having left to stay in Europe for economic reasons.

The five boxers Thomas Essomba, Christian Donfack Adjoufack, Abdon Mewoli, Blaise Yepmou Mendouo and Serge Ambomo,  disappeared after being eliminated from the games.  Two other athletes - a swimmer and a football player - may also be intending to claim asylum.  Reserve women's goalkeeper, Drusille Ngako, who was not one of the 18 included in the final squad for the Olympics, went missing shortly before Cameroon's last friendly match.  The disappearances are not the first time Cameroonian athletes have gone missing during international sports competitions. 

Sad that these athletes though talented have compelling reasons to run away from their Nation seeking to live elsewhere seeking asylum or incognito.  And there are Nations which pamper some athletes who are neither exceptionally talented nor bring laurels to the Nation

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
9th August 2012.

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