EDITORIAL: Olympics stars could lighten national mood

21 July 2021 | Opinion

Heads are down in Namibia due to a heavy cocktail of challenges, topped by Covid-19 as the sour cherry of top of the distasteful cake.

Still, there’s a glimmer of hope. Let’s not pop the champagne just yet, but Namibia’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics in the coming days can lift the mood of a weeping nation.

As we remain indoors in our attempt to dribble our way past this virus, there’s now something to distract us from the dreadful daily news of death, disease and despair. And that is our countrymen and -women representing us in this year’s Olympics.

It didn’t have to come to this. We didn’t have to wait for a pandemic for our nation to restore its faith in sport.

We have neglected sport as an industry. From shoestring budget allocations to dilapidated facilities, athletes have become orphans in a house that purports – on paper – to be a welcoming home for all who live it in.

Wait until someone wins a medal in Tokyo and we will see the endless queue of politicians lining up to congratulate the winners and promising them the very things they could not provide in preparation for the tournament.

The feeling of nationalism is indispensable in a multi-cultural country like ours and sports is the perfect tonic for such to exist. Karl Marx called religion the opium of the masses, but sports now fits that bill even more.

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