Moment of a lifetime beckons for athletes
Posted Tuesday, July 24 2012 at 01:00
When an event is quadrennial, the most number of times a super fit athlete can compete is thrice. The exceptions – and usually, extremely superhuman human species – who compete in four or more Olympic Games are legendary sports icons. Think of Carl Lewis, the greatest athlete of the last century, who took part in Los Angeles ’84, Seoul ’88, Barcelona ’92 and Atlanta ’96. Then there is the amazing Great Britain rowing genius Steve Redgrave.
With the indisputably remote likelihood of Team Uganda possessing an athlete with the enduring ability Lewis or Redgrave, the 16-man team of competitors lead by captain Ganzi Mugula will know London 2012 is a chance to seize with both hands.
So many things happen in four years. There is no guarantee that whoever wastes or regrets an opportunity in London will be in contention in Rio de Janeiro come 2016.
Already at London 2012, world renown athletes like Carolina Kluft, Rafael Nadal, Dywane Wade and David Beckham will not compete for varying reasons. Each has expressed his disappointment at missing this year’s Olympics.
For the experienced pair of Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro and Dorcus Inzikuru, the Games will particularly provide them a platform to etch their names further in international sport. As medal winners at virtually every level there is in sport bar the Olympics, they will know that London 2012 is perhaps their final shot at the big stage. Others like Annet Negesa are young enough to dream of representing Uganda in Olympic Games of years ahead. But that is no invitation to perform below maximum potential in London.
Meanwhile, after landing on Sunday, the first batch of Team Uganda athletes wasted no time in embarking on training sessions.
Badminton player Edwin Ekiring and swimmer Mugula already have a feel of the state-of-the-art facilities from where they will compete. Officials Dominic Otuchet, Faustin Kiwa, Peninah Kabenge, Simon Mugabi and Louis Jadwong are also here.