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Olympic Day is back as preparations begin for Tokyo Games

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Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019. 3:25 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Last week’s rained-out Olympic Day celebrations at the BTL (Digi) Park in Belize City are on again for Sunday, July 14 at 1:30 in the afternoon.

Events on tap include special children’s games such as lime and spoon, hula-hoop, skipping and sack race; demonstrations and exhibitions by the various national sporting federations, and the annual Olympic Day Run starting at 3:30.

For the run, participants can register for free on the day of the run. The first 100 registered will receive a commemorative T-shirt while all participants will receive a certificate. First, second and third place (males & females) in each category will receive a medal. Refreshments will be provided to all participants after the event.

The event is under the theme “Move, Learn, Discover.”

The 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo are just about a year away and Belize has at least two entrants as mandated by the International Olympic Committee; in Belize’s case, usually in athletics.

Secretary General Allan Sharp points out that to succeed professionalism is the way forward. “We’re trying to work from the bottom up, so the idea is to get the athletes young [and] train them. And one key thing that I hope everybody appreciates is that to be an Olympic athlete and to qualify, requires that we start to work as a country to have athletes, that that’s all they do; they are hundred percent pro athletes; the country has to find ways of financing these people…”

The Committee, says Sharp, tries to assist where it can with IOC funds, and is developing its criteria for giving assistance to the sporting federations, but he says they want to focus on those federations with defined programs targeting youth and the cream of the athletic crop. That said, he added that all sporting federations are showing some growth which will be on display on Sunday, whether it is the traditional sports like football, basketball and volleyball, or the newer disciplines like rugby sevens, fencing, judo, and table tennis.

Belize has been participating in the Olympics since the 1950’s but has yet to win a medal as a country.

 

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