Even a $1million incentive can’t buy you an Olympics medal

I’m at it again, yes, I am. To get the best out of anyone, anything or whatever else, you need to do some motivation, which is why good managers make it a loyal tool in making their businesses a success.
Medal hopeful: Dieudonne Disi
Medal hopeful: Dieudonne Disi

I’m at it again, yes, I am. To get the best out of anyone, anything or whatever else, you need to do some motivation, which is why good managers make it a loyal tool in making their businesses a success.

And so, when news broke that the National Olympics Committee are staking large sums of cash for each medal won at the forthcoming Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, my reaction was between positive and negative as you’re about to find out…..

$10,000 (approx. Frw5.5 million) has staked for a gold medal while both silver and bronze will go for $5,000 (approx. Frw2.7millions).

“We need medals to lift the pride of our nation. We have capable athletes whose objectives are to snatch medals and bring to an end the country’s poor medal show at the Games,” Ignace Beraho, the National Olympics Committee president was quoted as saying when revealing his “master plan” for winning an Olympic medal.

But nature dictates that  ‘You reap what you sow’, so goes the old adage, but the last time I used it in these pages, it got me into ‘hot waters’ with a few individuals to whom it had been directed.

Sometimes, people feel offended when told the about their mistakes, which to many, yours truly inclusive is pretty normal given the society we live in.

I hope and pray that I’m proved wrong but I insist that even with a million-dollar stake, there is no way on earth any of our local athletes stand a chance to win an Olympic medal, at least as far as the forthcoming Beijing Games are concerned.

No way, any of them, not even the only hope, Dieudonne Disi, can achieve it without having worked for it. At least for him (Disi), he tried, and like am saying, tried to work for it but what about his mates, Epiphanie Nyirabarama (marathon) and the two swimmers (Pamela Ngirimbabazi and Jackson Niyomugabo?

Over the years, I have been at the forefront of agitating for ample and improved preparation for the local athletes aspiring to be party to the Beijing Games; unfortunately all the attempts to press the authorities into working on this particular failing have all ended in ‘litter bins’.

It’s been like pouring water on a back of a cow—it just falls off with little or no impact on its (animal’s) inside whatsoever. But do you do? Do you back off and look on while “simple” things like preparing athletes for the Olympic Games are marred by a high degree of incompetence?

I regret repeating this over and again but circumstances like the latest attempt by the National Olympics Committee to boost the athletes’ morale by rewarding them with large sums of cash for any medal won at the forthcoming Beijing Olympic Games, compel into me doing it.

Rwanda has competed in six Summer Games 1984 in Los Angeles, United States, 1988 in Seoul, Korea, 1992 in Barcelona, Spain, 1996 Atlanta, United States, 2000 in Sydney, Australia and 2004 in Athens, Greece.

Yet in those six appearances, Rwanda has never won an Olympic medal, but Jean de Dieu Nkundabera won a Paralympic bronze medal in 800m T-46 at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens.

In an ideal world or in places where they know what it takes to win an Olympic medal, preparations take four years but for us here, it’s about waiting until the very last minute to start doing things that would’ve been best done years before.

Because of failing to learn from past mistakes, again athletes, some capable of beating the minimum required times for the Games failed to achieve it, not for their lack of ability but because the ‘masters’ just don’t seem to care—after all, their own ‘participation’ is as guaranteed as my chances of having a second child.

I already have one bouncing baby girl.
Motivation is the characteristic that is required in order to achieve anything in life; without it you will give up at the first sign of adversity.

It means to inspire, instigate and encourage a person to do their best thus RNOC’s motivation will compel a person like Disi to think “If I can’t, then I must” and will cause him to do whatever it takes to become successful as this looks to be his first and last real chance to give a go at that elusive Olympic medal.

However, if only this money being staked for each medal won and the much more wasted or channeled into pockets of greedy individuals, had been used to prepare these athletes well enough, I believe each one of us (me and you reading this) would have a little hope of Rwanda breaking that Olympic medal duck. 

Nonetheless, I don’t want to sound as though I’m against RNOC’s move to motivate the boys and girls carrying the national flag as it’d be against my belief in the term motivation in its entirety, but my own $10,000-dollar question is, would you, for instance look forward to reaping apples when in reality you sowed mangoes? Over to you




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