You are here: HomeWallSayIt Loud2002 08 02LEARN TO SWIM, AFRICANS.............. (Kofi Ellison)

Say It Loud


Kofi Ellison
2002-08-02 16:21:23

I was just looking through the medal table of the Commonwealth Games, and the events where the medals were won. It seems to me that the cards are stacked up against Africans because the events where numerous medals are awarded are not familiar to us.

A "born-again" friend nearly drowned in a Swimming Pool when he was baptized the other day.

An African swimmer at the last Olympic Games nearly drowned during a swimming event, at the end of which he said (out of breath), that he was not aware "that 100 metres (freestyle) was that long"! The only swimming pool where he had done his practice swim in Bangui was a mere 50 yards, he complained!

What happened to our brave and courageous Fishermen. I know some guys at Chorkor who could do well in the event!

It seems the Commonwealth and the Olmypics, aware that Africans do not do well in sports such as Swimming have loaded the event with several layers of competition: freestyle; backstroke; frontstroke; butterfly; synchronized, etc., etc. in various lengths of competition! At least 20-plus medals are awarded in Swimming at the ongoing games.

Nor do Africans compete in events such as Walking; Badminton; Squash; Shooting; or Cycling!

As for Cycling, I don't know if there is a Cycling track in Ghana since the one at the Kumase Stadium was demolished during the face-lift, some years ago. We could do well in that sport if we had facilities. I can vouch for that because all the "Kobo Kobo" bicycling dudes are good enough to train for the event.

I just cant understand why we do not have competitors in the Walk event considering Ghanaians walk as a matter of necessity. We walk to and from school; jobs; farms; sporting events. Hell we could out-walk any nation. The only competition would come from our fellow Africans! Yet no African won a medal in Walk at the games.

Then there is Shooting! African countries have competent marksmen. We have numerous public shootings called Firing Squad who hardly missed their targets. We could win a medal where it counts. Yet none in that even, either.

What Africans win medals in is the number of officials who follow the athletes to these games. At the Atlanta Olympic games for example, the ratio of Nigerian officials to athletes was 4 officials to each Athlete. Even Cuba, which is always afraid of defections by its Atlhetes had fewer officials.

At the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England; Ghana was represented by 25 athletes and yes, 29 OFFICIALS. We hauled a total of ONE MEDAL!! A heavy load for the 29 officials to carry to the bosses in Accra. We are tied with Cayman Island, St. Lucia, and Mauritius.

A country called Nauru has ELEVEN medals. Where is Nauru, you asked; well it is a little island near Papua New Guinea!!!!

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