The Saudi Arabic daily Okaz (translated by Arab News) runs this opinion piece on why the Saudi teams failed to win any medals in Beijing. Saudi competitors are just not ready for this level of competition. There’s not enough money being put into sports, other than football, there’s not a serious sports press, there’s not enough work being done to actually have a chance of winning.
Not mentioned is the lack of any Saudi woman taking part in any competition, either…. From the start, the Saudis have cut their chances of winning medals in half.
Beijing bust a wake-up call
Khaled Hamad Al-Sulaiman I Okaz
THOSE who criticize the Saudi failure in Beijing are exaggerating. Did they ever expect us to compete against the rest of the world for gold, silver or even bronze?
Competition requires certain elements and a foundation, which at present we simply do not have. Needless to say, our sporting reality is an open book. Any observer can read failure on its very first page.
We were pinning hope on some individual skills in athletics and equestrian, but instead of apologizing for the failure of his federation, the head of the athletics and equestrian federations threatened his critics with hell upon his return from China.
The star riders could not find horses to mount, so they exchanged the few they had among themselves. The most famous of them was unable to participate in the Olympics because he did not have a horse.
If we had used just a little of the money we spend on team sports — which specialize in failure — to buy a qualified horse, we might have won a medal and saved face.
Our sporting position needs radical changes. This is a demand we make after each failure. The legitimate demand will go into oblivion when we forget our failure in a certain competition.