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St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Olympics

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The St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) team to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is a tiny one, but our delegates carry with them the hopes and spirit of the entire nation.

Even though sports commentators say that our four young competitors are not expected to medal, hope springs eternal and it is not beyong the realm of possibility that this country would claim its first Olympic medal at the Rio Games.{{more}}

In addition to the outside chance that we would win a medal, the mere participation of our sports men and women means a great deal to the people of this country.

Anyone who doubts how much their participation means would have had their doubts erased last Friday night, when locals who were viewing the Opening Ceremony of the Games at Maracana Stadium gave a collective groan of outrage and disgust when the ESPN Caribbean broadcast cut away, just as the Vincentians were entering the stadium, robbing us of the pleasure of seeing our national colours on the world stage for all of 10 seconds — and this is not the first time it has happened.

We are pleased to note that general secretary of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee Keith Joseph has filed an official complaint with the broadcasting agent, because if, as a nation, we keep accepting this type of shoddy treatment, it will continue to be meted out to us.

So far, only 16-year-old swimmer ‘Izzy’ Shne Joachim has taken part in an event, and although she did not advance beyond her heat, she gave a good account of herself in this her first outing. Young Nikolas Sylvester takes his plunge on Thursday, August 11, competing in the 50m freestyle; then on Friday and Saturday, our track and field competitors Brandon Parris and Kineke Alexander respectively will get their chances to claim some medals.

Although not competing as part of the delegation from SVG, 23-year-old fencer Nzingha Prescod, whose mother is a Vincentian, will attempt to claim a medal for the United States on Wednesday night. She too deserves our support.

Our athletes aside, the Games provide a good respite from the never ending political drama in which this country has been immersed for many years, as well as the ‘dramedy’ of the 2016 presidential race taking place in the United States.

The beauty of body, agility, strength, mental alertness and competitive spirit of the participants taking part in the different disciplines provides for many hours of satisfying, clean, family entertainment.

Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

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