Let’s discuss one of my favorite seasons — the Olympics. This festive event combines the cheerfulness of Christmas with the anticipation of a Leap Year. Who doesn’t love it? It’s the one time that countries can put on a united front, regardless of internal conflicts. We can applaud and celebrate the best athletes that we have to offer. After all, just qualifying to compete in an Olympic event is an amazing achievement. Watching our lone star and solid stripes march under the flames of the Olympic torch symbolizes our worth. It means that we are good enough. We are strong enough. Despite all of our inadequacies, we can run with the best of them.
When I heard that Liberia would compete in a sport other than Track and Field, at the 2012 Olympic Games, I was ecstatic. Liberia has talented runners, but a Liberian Judo fighter signified Liberia’s progress. It meant that we were developing other passions and skills among Liberian youths. It meant that my dreams of transforming Snake Babies into Olympic Gymnasts and Kru Fishermen into Olympic Rowers could actually happen. But I might have jumped the gun because the young fighter chosen to represent Liberia— Levi Saryee — was nothing more than a martial con artist.
Below is an exclusive interview with, Liberia’s Power Lifter, James “Bobby the Big Siaffa.” Thanks to everyone who showed support by viewing this page and leaving comments for each athlete. Ciao, Until Next Time; Be Inspired, Be Curious, Be Blessed.
1. How did you get to the 2012 London Summer Paralympic Games? (What was the process, what steps did you have to take to become Liberia’s 1st ever Summer Paralympian?
A: My first international competition was in Dubai March 2010 I lifted 130kg/286. Then in July I was invited to the world championship in Malaysia where I lifted 175kg/385lbs. That qualified me for the Paralympics Solidarity training program. Where I attended training camp for 2 months in Cardiff, Whales.
On September 4th 2012, Liberia made its FIRST EVER Summer Paralympic appearance. James “Bobby the Big”Siaffa represented Liberia in the 2012 London Summer Paralympic 82.5 kg Power Lifting competition and placed 7th out of 14competitors. Siaffa met his goal of placing in the Top Ten by lifting 190kg/419 lbs! This is an AMAZING debut for Liberia. Siaffa gave a remarkable performance. The competition concluded with Ireland placing First, China– Second, and Egypt– Third.
Below are some images from the competition. Once again, Congratulations Bobby for making it this far. May you have many blessings toward your continued success.
Yesterday August 29th marked the Opening of the 2012 London Summer Paralympic Games. This is also Liberia’s FIRST appearance in a Summer Paralympic Game. You can watch the Ceremony by CLICKING HERE; Liberia enters at 1:32:49. James “Bobby the Big” Siaffa served as the Flag Bearer and will be making history as Liberia’s FIRST athlete to qualify to compete in a Summer Paralympic Game. Cheer him on as he represents Dear Liberia on Tuesday September 4th. ParalympicSports TV will be airing all competitions LIVE; CLICK HERE to watch.
The Games have finally begun and some countries have already started raking in medals. Visit the OFFICIAL LONDON PARALYMPIC SITE to see which countries are leading. THREE African countries have received medals, so far (Nigeria*1 gold*, Algeria *2 bronze*, Egypt*1 bronze*)
Below are more images from the Welcoming Ceremony, ENJOY!!!
With LESS then 24 hours until the 2012 London Summer Paralympic Gamesbegin, Liberia’s Paralympic Committee and athlete are welcomed into London’s Olympic Village. Today, Liberia and London exchanged gifts in honor of the 2012 Games. This is a BIG year for Liberia; Power Lifter, James Bobby “The Big” Siaffa, will be making HISTORY as the FIRST athlete to ever represent the country at a Paralympic Game. Siaffa entered the village with Coach Nagbe of Monrovia and Liberian Paralympic Committee Members. Bobby “The Big” is scheduled to compete on Tuesday September 4thin the Power Lifting Competition. This leaves SEVEN days until Liberia makes its debut in the Paralympics. The Opening Ceremony of this year’s game begins tomorrow August 29th; wish our representative well as he makes history for Our Dear Nation.
Feel free to revisit this page for images of the Welcoming Ceremony. Below are some photos of Bobby the Big and Committee Members.
The flames of the 2012 London Summer Olympics have been extinguished and most of the participants have returned to their origins. However; the GAMES are NOT over yet! With only 2 weeks until the 2012 PARALYMPIC flames ignite, symbolizing the start of the 2012 Paralympic Games, let’s take a moment to welcome JAMES “BOBBY the BIG” SIAFFA to the World Stage.
SIAFFA is a Liberian Powerlifter. He will be making History as the FIRST Liberian to compete in the Paralympics. The Paralympics is an international sports competition for extraordinary athletes with physical disabilities. The name “Para”lympic is used to express the game’s parallel format to the Olympics. Powerlifting is the ULTIMATE test of upper body strength, pushing athletes to lift over THREE times their bodyweight in some cases. SIAFFA’s recent lift of 170kg/374lbs, at the World Paralympics Powerlifting Championship in Malaysia, qualified him to represent Liberia in the 2012 London Games.
“Despite my disability it has always been my dream to represent Liberia on the International stage. My goals include being ranked as one of the top Paralympics power lifters in the world, and finishing among the top-10 at the 2012 Summer Paralympics Games.”
As Siaffa prepares to make his dream a reality, let’s cheer him and Liberia on. You can leave a comment for Siaffa by Clicking Here. You can view the Paralympic Games from August 29th- September 9th by Clicking Here. In the mean time the site will be updated with more info and images on Liberia’s FIRST Paralympian James “Bobby the Big” Siaffa.
Liberia has completed its participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics and done well. As the London Olympic Games near an end, stay tuned for the Paralympic Games, which will begin August 29thand last until September 9th. It’s been announced that Liberia is scheduled to have a Power Lifter represent the nation in this year’s Paralympics! As we wait for the CLOSING CEREMONY of the Olympics and the OPENING of the Paralympics, let’s review the current TOP TEN medal countries. The Olympics is scheduled to end August 12th; the site will be updated with more information on our Liberian Paralympian as it becomes available.
* EIGHT African nations have received medals, so far, at this year’s Olympics: South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Algeria, Egypt, Botswana, Gabon, Morroco
For the pass 2 weeks, we’ve tirelessly watched our Liberian athletes represent Liberia in fierce competition. What might have taken us seconds or days to watch,has taken these athletes YEARS to prepare for. The road to the next Olympic Game starts HERE. The next four years will consist of practicing, training, competing, and qualifying; all in an effort to represent our Dear Liberia in 2016 and possibly bring her a medal. The journey to Rio begins NOW. May the 2012 Liberian Olympic Team inspireother Liberian athletes to begin their quest for the GOLD. May these future athletes receive support from family, friends, the Liberian government, businesses and fellow Liberians around the world. This is by no means an easy journey, but it is one that is possible (as these Olympians and the ones before them have proven). Congratulations 2012 Liberian Olympic Team on a job well done; best wishes to those beginning their journey to RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL.
The final day of the 2012 London Olympic Decathlon is here; and the RESULTS ARE IN. Liberia finished 23 out of 32 competitors with a total of 7586 points. Addy gave a great performance, ranking high in the track events; and succesfully completing all TEN events. His efforts at this year’s Olympic Games are applauded, along with the efforts of each athlete who represented Liberia. This concludes Liberia’s athletic participation in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Thank you to the 2012 Liberian Olympic Team and all of the coaches/supporters who made the team possible. Specific results for Decathlon Day 2 are below. You can continue to visit the site for more tweets, exclusives, and possible interviews. Feel free to leave a comment to congratulate ALL of the athletes; and return for the final medal count and to view pics from the closing ceremony.
With Day 1 of the 2012 London Olympic Decathlon event over, Liberia is ranked 20th out of 31 competitors. However, this is not the final ranking. Tomorrow will determine each countries ultimate ranking in the Decathlon at this years Olympic Games. Jangy Addy gave a stellar performance finishing FIRST in each heat that he raced in. You can view his Overall performance below (note: each rank represents his place in his competition heat or group). Stay tuned for part two. Tomorrow, Addy will attempt to improve his rank by competing in the 110m Hurdles, Javelin, Discus, Pole Vault and 1500m. Wish him well and be sure to congratulate ALL of the athletes, who have represented Liberia at this years Olympic Games.