THE 2016 Rio Olympics are fast drawing to a close and very soon will become a distant memory for many of us. For many years, we will talk about these Olympics for the many things that went right and for the many things that went wrong.
For many Namibians, this will be perhaps the most-spoken of Olympics in the 26 years of our independence. Not many will remember that Frank Fredericks won two silver medals (100m & 200m) at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, Namibia’s first ever participation.
Many will however remember Rio Olympics for two things.
One is the controversy surrounding the omission of an athlete who could potentially have finished on the podium for Namibia. Two is the sexual harassment charge against boxer and flag bearer, Jonas Junias whose arrest put a sour taste in many Namibian mouths.
That case is still in the Brazilian courts and nothing much can be said about it at this stage.
What can however be said is that with few days to go before the curtains are drawn on this year’s edition of the biggest sports spectacle on earth, Namibia will most certainly leave Brazil with no medal.
This might not have been the case if sport administrators and Government, through the Ministry of Sport, had planned thoroughly on how best to ensure athletes go to events to compete and not travel over there to just add numbers as participants.
Namibian sport is beset by too many egos and individual interests which do nothing to help the cause of the athletes in any way.
There are sport administrators who have dismally failed to come up with simple sport development programmes of their respective sport federations; and these in most cases, the Olympic codes.
For 26 years, we have always pointed fingers at each other after every major sporting event. No one sports administrator has ever raised their finger to say they are responsible for the poor showing of our athletes. But yet, year after year, these officials lead these sports delegations to wherever the events are held.
Instead of worrying about a fully-funded shopping trip, sport administrators should rather worry about how adequately prepared our athletes are. We should use the aftermath of the Rio Olympics to sit down, reflect on what did not go right and chart the way forward for the next Olympics in four years.
We should have planned for the 2020 Olympic already four years ago but nothing has happened in that space. Let us use the remaining four years to really lay down the markers and represent Namibia with aplomb.If sports administrators can’t commit to that then they should rather step aside and give the space to those who have the interest of sports and sports excellence on their sleeves. Enough is just enough.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015