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Today the competition of the Olympic begins. Competitors and countries will get the opportunity to showcase their talents and hard work. Some will win medals, and some will not even though all will be aiming to see how much they could collect. Olympic is not devoid of international politics and grandstanding because it allows countries to showcase their strength in sports as the Greeks of yore, where the sport originated. A country that could beat its rival and gets the most medals, particularly gold, is a country that is saying to the world their people are the best and the nation invests in their people.
Even small and less financially well-off countries like Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Kenya to name some, competing on this big stage or in this big league is significant. The governments and businesses of these countries, recognising the politics at play and international recognition to be gained from these events invest in their players. In instances where the government may not have all the financial wherewithal athletes are encouraged and enticed to compete in the country’s name. There is investment in sport. The talented from a very young age is provided the resources to train and compete.
In other countries universities compete for such talent because even as the players enhance the institutions in respective sporting arenas, they are acquiring higher education and being better equipped to function in a world of work and business after. Education and sports share an integral relationship. There are studies that suggest increasing physical activity and physical fitness could improve academic performance. Sports also create a unique level of discipline and camaraderie among participants. Athletes are taught how to work hard in a disciplined environment, how to break and set records, how to win and lose with grace, and how collectively they can compete and win against external rivals.
There is so much to learn about the human psyche, development and grace from sportsmen and women. Where others are mindful of how the interrelations could aid in improving the holistic development of their citizens and country, somehow the impression is given the Government of Guyana and business community do not have a full grasp of the situation or care not. The last time Guyana won a medal, which was a bronze, was at the 1980 Olympic. That was 41 years ago.
Given at least 60 percent of the population is under 40 years old, most have never had the experience of joy of saying Guyana can compete and win at the Olympic. More resources are needed to invest in sports. And it should matter not which group or demographic is more inclined to participate. Those who are so inclined or have the talent should be encouraged not starved of resources. Guyana needs proper track and field facilities and in the right communities. Boxing is another sport Guyanese love and is played at the Olympian level.
Invest in those with the interest and ability. Internal divisive politics should be cast aside to showcase Guyana as one with the capacity to compete and win medals at the Olympic. This includes putting aside the impish politics of dressing the athletes representing Guyana this year in what suggests the colour of the political office in government not the colours of the national flag. The green, which is the dominant colour in the Golden Arrowhead, has been excluded from the uniform top that has single small stripe of gold, white and black, with the trousers/shirt being black. The political psychological trauma the athletes could have departed without.
Best of luck to Team Guyana in the 2021 Olympic.