Saturday, August 16, 2008
Arabs Unite for the 2012 Olympics; a Solution
Well, the last week has been a week of many hours of watching TV and following the internet to see the results of the Olympics. This fortnight turns me into an armchair sports fanatic and it is quite amazing that I want to find out more about what the different competitions are and their rules and whether I should give it a go. It is also a time to catch the commentary and become a little more updated about sports that I do not follow.I flip the remote control between the 7 TV channels that are showing the Olympics. Whenever there is an Arab athlete competing, my attention is focused as I would like them to succeed and make us proud. Well, what is the outcome so far; after 8 days of competition, the Arabs can boast of a total of 3 medals (1 silver by Algeria, and 2 bronze by Algeria and Egypt). Hooray, we should all be proud! I hope that with the athletics, the Arab drought will finally end and we will have an Arab athlete win the gold medal.Many Arab sports commentators have been as frustrated with the draught as I am. They are blaming it on the National Olympic Committees and the lack of planning. Their main argument is that we (as Arabs) need to provide the full support for our athletes in order for them to fulfill their role and bring us the medals with the bragging rights that go with it. We should not be there just to participate for our national flags to fly within the Olympic Village and in the Parade of Nations. This got me thinking and I want to share a solution with you; have ALL of the 22 Arab countries contribute half of their budgets to a collective consolidated budget that will be used as a Regional Trial to choose the BEST ARAB ATHLETES and train them to bring us gold.There are several reasons for this; 1) the Arab common person is united in their support of Arabs in the Olympics as it reflects on all of us (where we are really united), 2) it allows the countries to still have their symbolic participation in the Olympics (with half their budget), and 3) it will derive the athletes of the poor excuse that I did not perform because I did not have the support, especially financial from my National Olympic Committee.After all, the Arab countries combined have the same population of the United States. And we never hear complaints from them that on there are too many Californians with their Olympic athletes and not a single Alaskan!So, will this be an ideal or can the League of Arab States seriously work on achieving it from 2009? As a corporate person, I would place 12 gold medals as our target for 2012 London Olympics!