Dear Liberian National Olympic Committee,
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.