Well, the Olympics is over for another four years, and I really enjoyed this one, for all its undercurrents. Australia did wonderfully. We have come to expect it of ourselves (the nation), and those expectations are certainly high. On a population basis Australia produces more medal winners than any other nation. WE LOVE THE GOLD. Even from my home town we have teenagers going away regularly for State and National titles in a range of sports – rugby, soccer, hocky, judo, squash, throwing, cycling. swimming.
And I think world over we probably like to be associated with Gold, whatever the association.
So when Cathy Freeeman was on top of the world sprinting, it was great for me to say, she’s Australian, I know her mother (Cecilia) although by meagre acquaintance, and she had been brought up in a Baha’i family.
Well, I expect that half of the medal winners at the Olympic games are Christian by sheer population of the Christian community in the strongest sporting nations, but like Australia’s level of excellence, it is almost incredible that there is a member of such a small religion like the Baha’i Faith in th emedal winners. Never theless, I was just excited to wake this morning with the news that the winner (YES, THE GOLD) of the men’s triple jump was Nelson Evora, a member of the Bahá’í Faith from Portugal.
24 year old Mr Evora jumped 17.67 metres, adding the Olympic title to his world crown and giving Portugal its first Olympic gold medal in 12 years.
Born in Cote D’Ivoire where his parents had gone to live from Cape Verde, Mr Evora relocated to Portugal when he was five. The family moved into an apartment that happened to be on the floor above his future coach, trainer and mentor, Joao Ganco, a member of the Portuguese Bahá’í community.
Mr Evora became a Portuguese citizen in 2002 after previously competing for the Cape Verde Islands.
“I can’t yet believe that I won this competition,” said Mr Evora. “It was so fast. It was a dream for me. I will be persistent in my efforts and achieve better results in the future. I believe I can do that.”