By Carlos Kambaekwa
This year’s Olympics Games in Beijing are primarily aimed at enhancing humanistic concepts, as it would create the platform to display the splendid Chinese culture and the life of the ordinary inhabitants of that country, especially during a time of rapid economic and social transformation.
Those were the words of Chinese Ambassador to the Republic of Namibia, Ren Xiaoping, at a special function in Windhoek last week to mark the official unveiling of the five mascots for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The mascots go by the name of FUWA, which means Children of Luck, with one’s name simply Baptist Olympic Flame, while the remaining four mascots are the embodiment of four of the country’s most popular animals – the Fish, the Panda, the Tibetan Antelope and the Swallow.
FUWA also represents the five elements of nature – the sea, forest, fire, earth and sky.
Xiaoping said the Olympics calls for people all over the world to set aside their differences and come together for peace, friendship and sportsmanship, albeit temporarily, and this is exactly what Beijing will offer to the world during the Games.
“The Beijing Olympics will be a spectacular event in the history of the world’s biggest showpiece because the Olympics is the world’s largest pageant of athletic skills and competitive spirit as it provides a ground for all participants to strive for excellence in the spirit of faster, higher and stronger,” emphasized Xiaoping.
At the same occasion Founding Father Dr Sam Nujoma, who is also the patron of the Namibia Olympic Committee, urged local coaches to develop strategies and new sport research methods to provide relevant information in relation to crucial issues, such as the need to respect the rules governing the consumption of performance-enhancing drugs.
“Perseverance, experience and commitment are vital ingredients for success, and I therefore encourage our coaches and trainers to continue honing the skills of the medal hopefuls who were identified shortly after the Athens Games in 2004, by nurturing and supporting them timely in order to enhance their performance.”
Nujoma said Namibia celebrated with the people of China after the Republic of China was awarded the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee, because it felt China’s successful bid to host the global showpiece was Namibia’s success as well.
“Indeed, the Games have opened further opportunities for our people to continue to strengthen our ties of friendship and solidarity dating back to the years of our bitter struggle for national liberation, and their immense support, together with other progressive forces, has certainly enabled us to attain our genuine freedom and independence,” concluded Nujoma to loud applause.