Rio2016, Corrupt few Steals the Dreams of Kenya’s Sportsmen.
I bet we all remember the story of Rio that surfaced on a number of online media claiming that a number of Kenyans runner missed their de-hydration and kits in Brazil. The government on the other hand came down hard on the sport council disbanding it, as officer followed suit with arrests.
Poor sportsmen and countrymen ran to the last inch reminding me of the old legendary Tanzanian runner. John Stephen Akhwari For a flash back Akhwari was born 1938 in Mbulu, then known as Tanganyika.He represented Tanzania in the marathon at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.
While competing in the marathon in Mexico City, Akhwari cramped up due to the high altitude of the city. He had not trained at such an altitude back in his country. At the 19 kilometer point during the 42 km race, there was jockeying for position between some runners and he was hit. He fell badly wounding his knee and dislocated that joint plus his shoulder hit hard against the pavement. He however continued running, finishing last among the 57 competitors who completed the race. He was interviewed by a number of media house and in his own words he said “My country did not send me 5000 miles to give up- but to finish the race.
It is in the same texture that I have refer to the president of our republic when he hands over the national flags as symbol of the countries support rallied behind the strong muscles of our sportsmen. They are always pounded like the Ghanaians drums at harvest celebrations, courtesy of the heat of the day, the unfamiliar routes and more strongly by our northern brothers (Ethiopians).
I look at sport as a way of life, to the sportsmen their families and relatives; this never deterred them from pushing had to see Kenya pocket highest number of medals is Africa and Middle East. We must not punish those serving the country through their blood and sweat in front of the world’s best.
I wonder what happened to those who robbed the kits of the runners, ever since that incident, those word of Akhwari have bothered my mind more often than not as I tend to thinks where did we as individuals go wrong, where did we turn around and revived the “Man eat man society” a phrase that has been used time and again, especially when one finds themselves in a tight corner.
After watching the Kenya’s performance at the Rio Olympics, I could not think of a better phrase to describe their performance. For a team that left the country with so much expectation, with the hopes of not only a country but a continent, in Rio, runners suffered! I, and sure most, were dumb founded while trying to explain what we saw on our screens, it was like we had attended a brain format session in the period between the stated televised send off and the Olympic Games.
If you were had a chance to speak on a personal note to those who have let go the navy blue passport and acquired another, who knows where it came from? probably they will smack your face if you told them the sportsmen dreams are still valid in Kenya . So what happened to us? There are tones of theories, like I am sure most of you have heard in your favourite sports columns, we could build on those, few men and women and create a driving force to develop our beautiful country into a sports destination. Creating a sporting careers and avenues to nature and develop the young talents, but them again will the corrupt few steal the dream of the whole country.
So what next? We could sit here, read, lament he was a good writer, probably knocked over by a corrupt few, to shut him up. Or we could stand up, and walk to the finish line as we grab another corrupt one, rich enough to buy his own freedom from the state.
Has anything changed lately? I don’t think so. Did we realize another cash cow? Yes. If the current trend continues, I am sorry but we could get to a point of no return, consumed by our own greed. Burning, like a forest of dried shrubs and grass. Critical facts have to be told. Fact of how initially amazing ideas were manipulated to the bin, to benefit and feed the greedy few only to leave the whole nation at shame. Let’s get back home restructure and get back to being the world beaters we are! In the meantime, Enjoy the Olympic glory, thanks to RIO2016.