The Botswana Olympic team has promised to do the country proud during the upcoming 2012 London games, which are due in 18 days’ time.
Speaking during the team’s official send off held at the Gaborone Sun this past Thursday, the team’s Chef de Mission, Major Botsang Tshenyego, promised that the team will fly the country’s flag high during the games. Accepting his mission to lead the country’s Olympic contingent, Major Tshenyego said the team will uphold the country’s name honorably at the games.
Major Tshenyego’s words were later echoed by the team’s representative, Oteng Oteng, who promised that the local athletes will do all possible to represent the country well.
Oteng, who is the only boxer among the all track athletes team, said the team will uphold all the good values associated with Botswana at the games. Earlier, while giving a keynote address, the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mr Shaw Kgathi said he is ‘confident that the team will represent the country well at the 2012 London Olympics.’ the minister implored the team to their best and ‘restore pride and glory to the nation both on and off the field.’
“Be conscious of the fact that your success at the Olympic Games will bring about positive spin offs, not only to your careers, but also to our nation,” Kgathi told the athletes.
The minister said he is optimistic that the athletes will for the first time in the history of the country’s participation bring home Olympic medals.
“I must admit that when the Olympic movement was founded, it really never occurred to us that in our lifetime, we will be celebrating a Motswana world champion, let alone internationally-acclaimed athlete. Our present experience as a country lives true to the words once uttered by the founding President of this Republic, Sir Seretse Khama who said, “It is not long before we dethrone the Russians of their medals and the English of their World Cup trophy,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the team had met with President Lt General Seretse Khama Ian Khama to bid him farewell.
Meanwhile the team will continue its final preparations for the games by holding final camps overseas in the coming weeks. Oteng and his coach, Khumiso Ikgopoleng left for their final camp in France on Friday while the track team is expected to leave for their final camp in Cardiff, Scotland tomorrow (Monday).
While the team’s already Olympic bound athletes started leaving for their final camps this past Friday, other star athletes like Obakeng Ngwigwa, Thapelo Ketlogetswe and high jumper Kabelo Kgosiemang were still busy trying to qualify for the games before yesterday’s Olympic qualifiers’ official cut off date.
The Olympic team will be led by Major Tshenyego (Chef de Mission), Thari Mooketsi (Athletics Team Manager) and Tebogo Mokgwane (Team Doctor) while Ikgopoleng and Mogomotsi Otsetswe will be the team’s Boxing and Athletics’ coaches, respectively.