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Friday, August 17, 2012
Africa at the London 2012 Olympic Games …. the Aftermath
The London 2012 Olympic Games are over and the postmortem analysis
of how Africa performed at the games looms large.
While some nations in Africa are celebrating their first
ever medal won at the Olympic Games; majority across Africa are questioning
their commitment to SPORTS which happens to be the biggest social phenomena in
all communities in Africa and across the globe.
The Olympic Games is one of the main barometers to measure progress
in sports in any nation around the world and when the event comes around every
four years it gives every country a chance to take a look in the mirror as the
performance of its athletes at the Games come under scrutiny by its people and outsiders.
There is a general consensus across the board with feelers
in social media that most Africans are not impressed with their individual
country and the overall performance of Africa at this Olympics.
For starters the Medal Tally at this Games were very much
below that of the 2008 Beijing Games where the total Tally for Africa was 40
medals while the end total for the 2012 Games is 34.
Most shocking is the performance of Nigeria (the most
populous nation in Africa) which did not win a single medal at these Games
while in 2008 they had a total of 4 medals. It seems like sports has sunk to a
new low in Nigeria and most of Africa. This abysmal performance by Nigeria and
many other African states that were allowed token representation by the IOC at
the London Games is a reflection of the leaderships of these states. The poorer
they performed the more reflective it is of poor overall leadership in each one
of these nations beginning from the very top (Presidents).
It begs the question do they even understand the global and
economic implications of what sports can do within their societiesor do some only see sports as just something
recreational (which it is in its very basic state)that kids play and not
something that has a direct economic bearing on their country?
Most commendable was the tiny nation of Gabon that has taken
a very aggressive approach in pushing sports to a whole different level as they
won their very first ever Olympic Medal in Taekwondo, courtesy Anthony Obame took Silver.
While it may seem that there is some progress being made in
some quarters with some nations in Africa like Gabon which not only co-hosted
the last edition of the African Cup of Nations the majority of Africa which
exports some of the best sports talents to other lands around the world are not
living up to their God given potential
South Africa had a total of six medals in London and that is
a drastic improvement from 1 medal in 2008 but for many South Africans that is
not good enough.
The verdict is out and many countries citizenry are pouring
it on at their governments and sports officials about how disappointed they are
of their lack of showing at the Games.
What happens now that every country has had a chance to look
at themselves through this global lens of a sports festival. Will the status
quo be maintained or will heads roll.
As far as the results from London shows, some people will
have to be fired as the results show that they have not been productive in
their capacities and therefore should look for work in other fields of life.
Sports Management has changed drastically in nature over the
decades and if you have not adapted or stayed abreast with the way things are
happening around the globe these days then you do not need to be a part of
running sports in any capacity whatsoever.
Social Media has brought a whole new dimension of public
opinion to the performance of every sport official and athlete. No one is
exempt and they are under more scrutiny in the public domain more than ever and
therefore have to perform to keep the majority satiated.
In conclusion it is either you perform or you give way to
more productive individuals in various official capacities and if African
countries really want to shake of their nightmarish past of underachievement
and mediocre performances beginning with what just happened in London, then
they will have to take a very strong stance on having their officials deliver.
Sports is now a multi trillion dollar business around the world and if you want
to have sports as a contributing segment of your national economy then you will
have to put a premium on positive results on your national sports apparatus.