Liberia’s Olympic Team Off To Athens
...As Gov’t Gives US$16,000
The country’s team to this year’s Olympic games which is scheduled to officially kick-off tomorrow in Athens, Greece left the country yesterday.
According to the Liberia National Olympic Committee’s Vice president for Technical Affairs, Philipbert Brown, the team’s departure was made possible by the Liberian government that provided US$16,000 through Youth and Sports Minister Wheatonia Dixon Barnes.
Speaking to The INQUIRER yesterday at the LNOC headquarters, Mr. Brown said although the amount is small, the Olympic body was assured by the Sports Minister that the government will replenish whatsoever amount used by the LNOC to get the team to Athens and participate in the tournament.
Mr. Brown said it cost the LNOC, US$19,800 to get the air tickets for the team’s travel to Athens, an amount which he stressed is far above what was provided by the government.
The LNOC Vice president said the government of Liberia is indebted to the Olympic body in the tune of US$40,000, explaining that to have Liberia represented at the competition, the LNOC has had to tamper with its yearly grant of US$40,000 intended for its yearly projects just to fly the country’s flag in Athens.
He added that already the LNOC has printed its banner; produced the country’s Olympic pins and had purchased attires for the athletes as well as purchased the country’s flag for the competition.
The LNOC Vice president said the local Olympic body have had to reverse its earlier decision not to fly the country’s flag, adding" we have rest our case."
Meanwhile, Mr. Brown disclosed that nine members of the country’s 13-man delegation, have left the country for Athens. He identified some of them as Gladys Thomas and Sylvester Rennie of the Swimming Federation; LNOC boss Deborah Williams, Morris Dukuly, and Luwoo Wallace. He said four other athletes who are based in the United States are to form part of the Liberian Olympic team.