WINDHOEK – With barely fifteen days left before the historic Olympic torch is lit at the eagerly awaited 2012 London Olympics, Namibia has assembled a relatively small but impressive team of athletes who will compete in the global showpiece.
This is in stark contrast to previous events where officialdom would typically drag along a sizeable contingent of untried athletes with the ultimate view of exposing them to the tough and demanding rigours of international athletics.
Those halcyon days are now a distant past with athletes now having to go through tough qualifying campaigns before being considered for final selection. Namibia will dispatch a small contingent of twenty-eight, which includes nine athletes and nineteen officials, doubling up as coaches and team managers.
The Namibian Olympic Committee (NNOC) has appointed long serving director of sport Dr Vetumbuavi Veii, as the official spokesperson for all government related involvement in the Namibian Olympic team, while Ndeuli Hamutumwa will be responsible for all technical matters concerning the athletes and all other related issues.
Hamutumwa will be the Chef de Mission of Team Namibia under the guidance of the Minister of Youth, National Service, Sports and Culture, Kazenambo Kazenambo, who, by dint of the requirements of protocol, is the leader of the Namibian delegation to the 2012 London Olympics.
Addressing the media yesterday, Hamutumwa emphasized the importance of the Olympics, while appealing to all participating nations to obey at all times the principles underpinning the Olympics.
“We are facing challenges of nepotism and tribalism in our own communities, but we must learn to live and accept each other in the spirit of unity. It’s the dream of every athlete to compete and represent their native land at the Olympics because historically the Games bring various nations together even those with serious political differences.”
Hamutumwa expressed satisfaction over the progress made so far by Namibian athletes who have qualified for the global showdown.
“We are very excited and happy that our athletes managed to meet the necessary qualifications and are working hard to ensure that they win medals at this year’s Olympics.”
The Namibian dele-gation will visit State House for the customary courtesy call on the 18th of this month before jetting out to London two days later.