Are the Olympic Games important?

For we in the Pacific, have come a long way in a short time in terms of our development.

We have in fact some of the more sophisticated sports development initiatives in the World. We must however, convert this into performance on the World Stage, and this applies to athletes, coaches and administrators.

We hear constantly from the Pacific Islands NOC's that the Olympic Games are not important to us. This very sad.

By understanding the Olympic Movement and its philosophies, the IOc actually lays out a pretty decent pathway that sees sport develop appropriately leading to the pinnacle whichis the Olympic Games itself.

While it might not be realistic for our tiny Islands Nations to achieve Medal Success for our athletes, it is surely not beyond us to 'take the journey' and show up at the Games with the best we have, athletes, coaches and administrators.

That is what the Olympic Games are all about and as our major sponsor in sport and sports development, we all owe it to the IOC to turn up in Beijing with:

Athletes who have qualified on merit to represent the Country and who will go out there and give their best on the day.

Coaches who will have done research and prepared their athletes to do the best they can on the day while at the same time understand enough about what they are doing to be able to share knowledge and ideas with their peers from the larger, better resourced countries.

Medical Support Staff who can provide the latest in diagnostic services for athletes with specific sports injuries and who are capable and willing to learn about the latest from the array of prsoneel and recources that are on show at the Games.

Referees, who by sheer hard work and dedication have earned themselves a place controlling Olympic Competition.

Administrators who know their job and represent their Country well by networking effectively and gaining further opportunities in sport and sports development for their Country.

For me, the Olympic Games represent OPPORTUNITY. They are the key to the doorway to the world of sport and it is important that when we turn that key and enter that we put our best foot forward.

In doing so, we can take advantage of allof the wonderful opportunities that the Olympic Games Countries.

Success at the Olympic Games should not mean 'at the expense of our local development'. If this is happening then there is a problem with the process. Rather it should be a reflection of our success locally so that those who go to the Games to represent us are the best from our system. If our system is good then our Olympians will be pretty good too.

The Olympic Games are 3 years away. The Mini Games, Commonwealth Games, East Asian Games, Our National Games and the South Pacific Games are all opportunities for us to create the systems we need to produce top people in all aspects of sport and take them to the Games.

Beijing Beckons. Will you be Ready????

"Oceania In Athens"


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