THE WORLD OF OLYMPICS, ATHLETICS AND NICE SHOES

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Photo Courtesy: Unknown

Olympics is my favourite season. If you agree that Olympics is the better season than world cup then raise your hand and scream ‘yeah!’ đŸ˜€ Oh well, Olympics has it’s own thrill even if the ‘world cuppers’ don’t agree. I love world cup but Olympics; I just love it way more đŸ˜‰ It’s not really a surprise that I love Olympics, I dream of watching it live and I wish I could be an Olympics athlete too HA HA HA; I will tell you why.

My dad has always been my hero before Usain Bolt or David Rudisha or even Michael Phelps. I just get too excited when I hear him talk of his days as the champion. They call him ‘Jaguar’. The most thrilling part of his stories is not exactly when he explains how he had to be chained up by his own father at the stairs so he wouldn’t go play football or when he shows you his scars…it is when you hear his old friends talk about him. So on this fine day I went for a job interview and during the introduction, I mentioned my father’s name of course. The boss said, ‘wait…Abdulhalim? Jaguar?’ And I am like ‘yeah’. He started praising my dad’s talent and explaining how he would make the entire crowd chant his name ‘Jaguar’. So you can imagine, I am right there, doing an interview and the boss starts getting excited about my dad. It actually made me wish I knew my father since back then. But still, this wasn’t the most interesting part. Some other day I went into the same office and another school mate of my father was there too. The boss started,

“Do you know whose daughter this is?”

“Who?”

“Jaguar!”

“Oh Jaguar!!! He used to break his own records during school days. I doubt that anyone ever broke his records to date.”

I started laughing as they went on explaining how fast my dad would run, or how good he was in the football pitch…oh, not forgetting swimming. He was just that talented all-round athlete. I remember laughing until my cheeks were aching. I was proud. I’ve always been but the most unfortunate thing about my dad is that he got a bunch of girls and one boy who have little or zero talent in sports compared to him. My sisters and I all participated in different sports during high school; the gene is still there only that it is a very tiny bit of it. So I may not be sportish but I love sports. I love the thrill. I love watching footballers do their training. I love watching the fans cry and scream with excitement. Oh my, I love the shoes; I really love the ‘nikes’ and ‘adidases’ on display. As they say, Olympics is the biggest stage for sneakers, you bet they are right! I love seeing anything that looks like a sport. So for me and for my family, Olympics is family time. We would sit together and cheer for the Kenyans and our other favourite athletes, stay up late and enjoy one sport after another. Oh yeah; this is the world of Olympics.

Olympics is not only about the marathon, the races or the swimming. It is made up of so many sports that can just amaze and amuse you. All the way from archery (where we had a Kenyan Muslim girl participant; Shehzana Anwar), basketball, badminton, beach volleyball, Synchronized swimming (which just seems too artistic to not fall in love with), swimming, gymnastics (one of my favourites too), cycling, trampoline (awesome!!), triathlon, wrestling, rowing, long jump etc etc.  This time we had Palestine bringing in 6 participants and Refugee Olympic athletes, 10 of them, isn’t that inspiring?! You see all this and you would be mind-blown at how people are so talented and skilled in this world. Welcome to Rio Olympics 2016!!

It’s so much fun watching David Rudisha break his own record in 800 men’s, watching Jemima Sumgong win the first gold for Kenya ever in Olympics women’s marathon, watch Usain Bolt win his 3rd consecutive gold in the Olympics 100 meter titles. Well the thing about Usain Bolt; he never disappoints his fans and he has the coolest celebration signature ever.

On the other hand, Michael Phelps will be taking home 5 gold medals and 1 silver after being defeated in the 100 M butterfly by Joseph Schooling from Singapore who happens to consider Phelps as his childhood idol. For Michael though, he says he is done. This is his last Olympics and well, why not? His performances cemented his title as the greatest swimmer of all time, winning 28 medals throughout his career, 23 of them gold.

There is so much inspiration in the Olympics, so much to learn from the champions. Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic medal in swimming Thursday night, tying for gold in the 100-meter freestyle with Penny Oleksiak of Canada. Or on the case of Mo Farah of Britain who fell down half-way during  the 10th lap in the 10,000 meter race yet still the gold placing our own, Tanui from Kenya as the silver medalist. Etenesh Diro got a stand ovation from the crowd after losing one shoe during the 3000 meters steeplechase heat yet still emerging number 7 out of 17 participants. After an appeal from her team, Diro was among the lucky ones to proceed to the finals. With one shoe, or no shoe at all, you gotta stand up again!

Back to our Kenyans, we have 5 medals until now; 2 gold and 3 silver placing us at number 18 which is not bad đŸ˜€ Leading is United States with 75 medals. However, for Kenyans we still have hope in the upcoming events including the athletics happening today. Perhaps even by the time you read this, more medals will have already been won Amen!

Okay now people, as much as our Kenyans have poor English speaking skills, let us admit that the bigger problem is the accent rather than the English grammar itself. I mean did you hear this Rwandan athlete who was being interviewed and he was like, ‘I ran I ran I raaannnnn, I enjoyed I enjooyeeeddd’ lol. So yeah, at least our Kenyans are trying. They are bringing you medals, what more do you want!

Anyway besides that, Deputy president Ruto joined athletes in a jog in Rio, warned dishonest sports managers and also said the government has increased the award package for Olympics medal winners to Sh1 million for gold medalists, Sh750,000 for silver and Sh500,000 for bronze. Oh well, isn’t that so juicy?! Especially since Kenya has sent quite a crowd over there. Though I think an appeal should be made for the marathon runners. I mean come on, how does someone running 42.195 kilometres marathon win the same prices with someone winning in 100 meters?! Eish! These athletes deserve double award! I mean, didn’t you see Jemima shed tears as the Kenyan flag was raised?! She deserves a greater token lol.

With that much said, let us enjoy the few remaining days of Olympics and most of all, let us learn from these champions and their stories of failure and success! As for my dad, I am just hoping my son will be the one to get that precious sportish gene from him, ameen!!!

For now it is, ‘Go Kenya Go!!’

 

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