Unpleasant truth of not winning anything in London

The Olympics motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” which, of course, is Greek for, “Go for the gold, but also try to keep your bones organized.”

The Olympics motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” which, of course, is Greek for, “Go for the gold, but also try to keep your bones organized.”

Athletes heading to the London, probably have started out on a long campaign believing that the gold medal is destined for him/her the feeling when, all of a sudden, the medal has gone somewhere else is quite indescribable.

They say “Success is often the result of taking a step in the right direction”. And then you start to weigh it all up now that it is less than three months to the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games in London with over 204 countries having the ambition of winning medals.

But the question is are we ready?

Rwandan athletes seem to have no hope of climbing the podium, and that is hard to admit but it’s the truth, since plans for a serious hunt for medals isn’t anywhere to be seen. Ideally, at least by now all Rwandan athletes to feature in the summer event should be prepared to start counting how many medals they are likely to win, but that is not the case.

In the recent IAAF indoor game championships in Istanbul Turkey, countries like the U.S were buoyant after showing strength in winning 10 gold medals, featuring a young team and most of them will be in London.

Participants prepare for the event at least years in advance, because it real hard work to win any Olympic medal but as far as Rwanda is concerned, it has turned out that the reverse is true. Our athletes start preprations too late that you don’t want to refer to them as Olympians.

Recently, I heard a radio interview from one of the athletes on the London-bound team, saying how they are preparing well for the competition. I doubt if any of our athletes can actually match the likes of Mo Frah, Isinbayeva, and Pamela Jelimo.

 If they do surely, it will be awesome because these superstars always prepare adquately to themselves in top shape to fight for a bigger gold rush.

Rwanda has had limited achievements when it comes to the Olympic Games, ill preparation and lack of planning is always the order of the day. In absence of such measures, it appears that we are not interested in winning medals apart from flying the country’s flag during the opening festival.

Early Olympic Games included competitions for trumpeters but not flags. Our expectations are far beyond reality. Featuring a fragmented team is not logic. With the exception of the Paralympics team, our athletes to the 2012 London Games don’t give much hope.

 The Rwanda Athletics Federation, a body holding such responsibilities should put measures for the sport ahead of such big events. Government has the responsibility (Ministry of Sports), much as limited resources being an issue, but early plans should be paramount, not last minute chaos.

Rwanda National Olympic and Sports Committee (RNOSC) announced budget facilitation for the London-bound delegation. Only two participants qualified with the Standard B Olympic time; the rest are on wildcards.

And at the centre of it are two wonderful issues. Having two parallel bodies claiming responsibility in running the athletics governing body, and both go shows ineptitude, coupled with corruption, mismanagement of federation funds and lack of proper vision for what they do or are supposed to do.

With Such ineptness, the athletes cannot win medals and it makes the country’s 2012 campaign a flop even before the Games start. We need leaders, who can bring nothing but good to a profession that needs full commitment.

These corrupt and incompetent sports administrators must stop behaving like chicken that clean their mouth after a sumptuous meal and compose themselves as if nothing has happened.

It is high time they devised a strategic plan of action or else Rwanda will remain doomed in major competitions.


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