Team SA carries nation’s hopes
20 July 2012 | AVASHNEE MOODLEY
JOHANNESBURG - After a poor and disappointing showing in Beijing 2008, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) put in place operation excellence (Opex).
With strict and high qualifying standards put in place, only the country’s elite have been chosen to represent the nation.
For London 2012, Sascoc have reiterated that they have done all they can, from financial assistance to backroom support for the athletes.
President Jacob Zuma encouraged the team to bring back medals and to win for South Africa.
He also urged them to win for former President Nelson Mandela, who turned 94 this past week. The former president he said, had laid the foundation for a winning nation in 1994.
Speaking at the team’s farewell banquet dinner in Sandton on Wednesday, an enthusiastic Sports Minister, Fikile Mbalula also called for a 12-medal return.
“We are going to London and we want to collect 12 medals, but even if we don’t come home with 12, we are looking beyond London,” Mbalula said.
Sam Ramsamy, a member of the International Olympic Committee and former president of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, also gave the team some encouraging words during the banquet.
Ramsamy said it was up to the athletes to overcome the challenges they faced against the world’s best athletes.
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