Last night, prideful Liberians watched with anticipation as countries around the world paraded into the Rio Paralympic Stadium at the Opening Ceremony. To the disappointment of many people, the Lonestar Banner did not enter into the arena.
Where was, Liberia’s strong man, James Bobby Siaffa?
According to a letter sent to the International Paralympic Committee, Siaffa has taken a stand against issues of abuse and neglect from the Liberian National Paralympic Committee President and Secretary General. The Powerlifter alleges that he sustained constant verbal abuse, poor treatment, abandonment and no athletic support from LNPC President Jefferson Zoegbeh and Secretary General Festus Robinson.
“The value is not in the money. The value is in the cooperation.” – Samuel Koimene
On August 4, Samuel Komiene decided to take action. He, along with friends: Angelo Koimene, Thomas Yolain, and Chris Konneh make up “The Herd”, a group that symbolizes unity and togetherness. The Herd is responsible for the $10,000 “Supporting Our Own: Olympian” GoFundMe Campaign circulating around the internet. In 14 days, the campaign raised $1,990, but still has a long way to go. Below, Samuel shares what inspired him and his friends to start the campaign and how he plans to get the money to the athletes.
Emmanuel Matadi wraps up his Olympic debut with a 20.49 seconds run in Round 1 of the Men’s 200 meters. He ranks 30 out of the 76 athletes who competed. Liberia will not advance to the semi-finals, but both Matadi and Kromah have represented the nation well and made Liberians around the world proud.
Stay tuned. These athletes have a long road ahead of them to the next major competition. We might just see them next year at the World Athletics Championship in London. Let’s go Team Liberia!
Written by Manseen Logan, Photos from LIB Olympic Blog
In a video posted on Social Media, Liberia’s Olympic Team inch their bodies into two round inflated white tubs filled with ice cold water. The expressions on the athletes’ faces says everything. Wet. Freezing. Uncomfortable. One athlete clenches a towel between his fingers and tenses his body as he tries to keep himself from shivering. Then a voice appears from behind the camera encouraging the athlete to hang on. That voice belonged to Chiropractor Dr. Alaric Diggs.
As the fifth day of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics begins, South Africa remains the only African country to receive a medal at this year’s competition. So far, South Africa has won two Olympic medals, both silvers in swimming—Men’s 100m Breastroke and Men’s 200m Freestyle.
African countries win the majority of their medals in Athletics — commonly referred to as track and field— with Kenya, South Africa, and Ethiopia being the top three African countries in Olympic history.
Mariam Kromah is part of the two person team representing Liberia in Rio. The 22 year old and her family moved from Liberia to Fort Worth, Texas, during her childhood. In May, Kromah placed first in the Conference USA Championship winning the 400 meters for Southern Miss and gaining an automatic ticket to Rio for Liberia. Her faith and determination have carried her far. She shares a bit about herself here.
Why do you want to run for Liberia?
I want to run for Liberia because that is where my mother is from. For some reason the country is being shown in a negative way, even though the place is really beautiful.
Don’t get me wrong there are also bad parts, just like any other country, but I feel like people are more focused on the bad part than the good part. This is why I want to use my talent to represent Liberia and put my country on the map.
2. How long have you been running?
I have been running since my freshman year in high school.
3. How do you feel about the Rio experience, so far?
The Rio experience is overwhelming, but you have to focus and know what brought you here in the first place.
4. What is your favorite Liberian Dish?
I love Fufu, Cassava Leaf and Rice, Jollof Rice and a lot more.
5. What message do you have for Liberians watching?
Be yourself. Be humble, thankful, faithful and know what your goal and purpose in life are. Don’t be afraid to dream big because anything is possible. Always thank Allah and those around you.
Training and competing in sports can be expensive, but the rewards far exceed the costs. Here are five Olympic sports that Liberians could dominate, with a little support and training. The Liberian Youth and Sports Ministry should consider investing in these activities.
1. Track & Field
The beauty of Track & Field is the numerous events composed of running, throwing, and jumping. Liberia has had competitors in the decathlon, 100m, 4x100m relay, 400m, and 400m hurdles; but none on the field.