Featured image taken from Paul Hudson
Few professional athletes are blessed enough to gain national support and sponsorship, allowing them to focus solely on the grueling competition process. Others have to muster up the time and money to train, travel, and compete. Many Liberians find themselves in the latter group. In between full-time jobs, some Liberian athletes have the energy to not only train and compete, but also win. Their victories matched with the minimal support they often receive makes their medals even more impressive.
Featured image Liberia Basketball Federation Logo.
Basketball in Liberia has been growing, since 1964. Although Liberia has not made an Olympic appearance, the country has been to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) African Championship. This tournament is Africa’s premiere club competition, as FIBA hosts both national and club matches. In 1983, Liberia placed 9th out of 10 teams and in 2007 the team finished in 16th place.
A recent Facebook post has brought Lib Olympic Blog’s attention to the exhilarating sport in Liberia. Mr. Wes Smith, a member of the Ja’BELLEH Sports Mag Facebook group, recently posted some great Liberian basketball news.
Featured Image from Liberian Surfing Association
In August 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved five new sports to debut at the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan. They are baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sports climbing, and surfing. The decision to add these sports are the product of a two year process to refocus the Olympics with innovation, flexibility, and youth development in mind.
“The five sports are an innovative combination of established and emerging, youth-focused events that are popular in Japan and will add to the legacy of the Tokyo Games.”
Thomas Bach – IOC President
One of these sports in particular has been emerging in Liberia, since 2005. Surfing. Yes, you read that correctly. However, you won’t hear Liberians saying, “surfs up.” To Liberians surfing is known as “sliding” on the water.
Liberians proudly shout “Team LIB,” year round. It’s the unofficial abbreviation for all things Liberian. In the past, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) assigned Lebanon the LIB country code. Why? Because of France. Between 1920 and 1943, the French held Lebanon under colonial rule and redefined the area. They stretched its borders into parts of Syria and renamed the country Le Liban.
From 1964 to 2016, Lebanon used the LIB code at the Olympics, but it looks as though that will soon change. The third and current abbreviation for the Lebanese Olympic Committee is LBN. That releases the LIB code. Why let a good code go to waste?
We’re not sure how Olympic team coding works, but here are five reasons the IOC should exchange Liberia’s LBR code for LIB.
At LIB Olympic Blog, we hope to see Liberia’s presence at the Olympic Games expand, but we’re not looking for just any representation. We are looking for the “cream of the crop.” We desire to watch competitive Liberian athletes perform on the world’s stage. After all, we believe that sports unite us.
Here is our first list of Liberian athletes around the globe to watch. Consider this our Liberia Olympic Team wishlist.
April 9, 2017 Liberian Champions, Barrack Young Contollers (BYC) took to the field at Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) to compete in the Confederation of African Football cup (CAF) against Super Sport United Football Club “Matsatsantsa.”