Submitted on 2012/08/06 at 6:34 pm
He is just a fantastic guy. His sprinting brings to mind some of my seniors in those days in the Secondary School. I had a Senior who would do 100m in just over 10s, despite little or no training facilities.
Watching the Olympics brings to mind that Nigeria is just big for nothing. Our Athletes are just putting in their own individual efforts with no contribution from the Federal Government as to producing training facilities for these young men and women. For any Athlete from Nigeria to win a medal in the Olympics, it would be easier for a camel to pass through the needle’s eyes to achieve that. A few months back, Coach Keshi was saying that there is no football pitch in Nigeria that measures to international standard. I hope we will not wait till other countries report us to CAF or FIFA before we apply our fire brand approach to prop them up.
On a lighter note, I received a text message from a friend saying that Nigeria has not won any medal at the Olympics. That we will appeal to the Organizing Committee to introduce competitions in corruption, terrorism, kidnapping and other vices for Nigeria to win gold medals. Funny indeed though very shameful.
Thanks for this.
On April 4 this year, I reproduced an essay presented to readers of my weekly column in <em>The Nation on Sunday</em> of October 6, 2005: http://emotanafricana.com/2012/04/04/to-win-gold-we-must-invest-in-gold-olympic-musings-conclusion/
Since people become stupendously wealthy in Nigeria not because they’ve CREATED anything beyond stealing public money through their positions as civil servants, politicians, etcetera, we’ve arrived at a collective mind-set that our athletes should be able to do well in the Olympics simply by being there.
Countries like China, Cuba, Russia, etcetera have wide machineries that catch-them-young and then groom athletes the way champion race horses are bred. Sometimes, these programs may include under-handed methods while many are simply planning, hardwork and lots of input by governments.
In fact, I see “the decline” as many Americans see it – but stiff competitions as I see it – of the USA in the sprints as nothing but the fact that good ol’ USA is being outspent the way the American Right is outspending the Democrats to defeat Obama and return to the ugly ways of Bush the Son’s presidency. As breeding a race horse is very different from tending human needs, the Republicans will lose in the endeavor.
The U.S. government does NOT contribute a penny to sports development; the AAA sources for corporate funding when it’s time for the Olympics or World Cup while each athlete finds a way to train although those who are really talented get college scholarships (universities) to power-house institutions reputed to produce great athletes, e.g. UCLA, Arkansas’ Razorbacks, Southern Methodist, etcetera.
Uncle Sam, the rules of engagement have changed in track. You ALSO, like the Nigerias of this world, must invest in gold if you want to keep the dominance that could easily be yours because you already have the human and physical resources. Yours are the tracks that the West Indians have used to upstage you.
Whenever the World Cup or the Olympics is around the corner, estacode- (allowance)chasing government officials roam the world in search of athletes being groomed by colleges and clubs to recruit <em>obe t’o ti jina</em>, to borrow a Yoruba description of a soup that is already prepared.
For years, I – like many others, perhaps – have cried out in essays about the need to revive the old methods of discovering talents: the old interhouse, inter-school (e.g. Aionian of old Anglican secondary schools) and the Nationals.
Leadership vacuum and unbridled corruption has ruined Nigeria and sports could not therefore, not be an exception.