Featured Image from LiberiaEntertainment.com
Last week, the International Olympic Committee approved the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games’ event program. The approval included 5 new sports and 15 new events, which will increase the number of women participants and fulfill the committee’s gender balance goal. Out of Liberia’s 46 past Olympians, 9 are women. Liberia’s first female Olympian, Grace Ann Dinkins represented the country in 1984. Since then, Liberia has sent at least 1 female athlete to each attended Game. Liberia has done well sending women to represent the country, at the last 3 Olympics, but how does Liberia support female athletes outside of the Olympics? Let’s take a look.
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.
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.
He said, “My man, you’ve got something within you that I need to explore out there” and the rest is history.
At two-years-old, James Bobby Siaffa contracted Polio and lost full use of his legs. Overtime, he sat on the sidelines of most sporting events. Just watching. Fast forward to now. Siaffa is known as “Bobby the Big” and he is one of Liberia’s strongest men.
Last month, FrontPageAfrica’s online newspaper shared a story on the Liberia National Olympic Committee elections. Seven positions were up for grabs: President; Vice President for Administration (VPA); Vice President for Technical Affairs (VPTA); Vice President for Women Affairs (VPWA); Secretary General (SG); Assistant Secretary General (ASG) and Treasurer. Click here to read about the candidates and election process.
With Tokyo 2020 quickly approaching, let’s hope the LNOC can recruit and train more talented Liberian athletes.