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TheSummer Olympic, which started on Friday July 23 will end tomorrow August 8. Guyana sent a team to participate, albeit the controversy over their uniform which appears political, they did themselves well. Well does not mean there is no room for improvement and Guyanese should resign to never winning more medals since 1980. Well means that each athlete strode to participate on an international arena with competitors who were significantly more advantaged than them.
The Olympics on the surface may look like a sport and friendly competition among competing nations. But the Olympics are much more than that. They are opportunities for political statements, economic opportunities and show of might. Big countries like Russia, United States, Japan, China, United Kingdom etc., invest heavily in their athletes. To these countries their athletes are representations of the countries and could put the countries on the map as a force to reckon with.
Winning matters. No wonder when relatively little Jamaica is pulling medals, Guyanese as members of the Caribbean Community identify and celebrate. Jamaica is too us. And when Jamaicans celebrate and boast that they “come to conquer not bow” we cheer. Guyanese also quick to identity and took side with Jamaicans in defending them against those seeking to disparage their ability.
Our Guyanese athletes are winners. They are Olympians. They have the evidence to show they were identified as Guyana’s best and went to the games and gave of their best. Each one, though there is likely to be the feeling of dejection, did well. They are from a country where the Government and private sector are still to regard sports as important to development, a country’s identity and invest in the athletes. Investment cannot be a one off but a long-term and sustainable. These include helping the talents with needed resources- sports gear, education opportunities, finances, diet (health), practice infrastructures and otherwise.
Guyana may have failed our athletes, but they have not failed themselves. They went to Japan and did their best. They are heroes. What they have done takes ability, sacrifices and grit. On their return something should be done to acknowledge their efforts. Additionally, there needs to be more investment in sports and upcoming athletes preparing them for the 2024 Olympics. Preparation must start almost forthwith.