Sri Lanka was depending on miracles and pure luck to avoid humiliation instead of hard work during Olympics 2012 ?
London Summer Olympic 2012 was the significant for woman from many reasons. It was for the first time females compete in a boxing game and brave ladies from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Brunei permitted track & field events. For the first time every eligible country sent at least single female athlete . Despite Sri Lanka’s failure to impact on field , working class women from rural village of Horena drives united states woman’s 4×100 relay team to strive in sparking fashion after 17 years on 10th August 2012 Friday night.
This is the story of Sri Lanka . A nation gifted with many talents and uncanny ability to squander them.
Olympic Vs Sri Lankans
We were far away from winning a medal continually for the 10th conservative year. It was year 2000, when Susanthika Jayasingha a typical village girl runs along Merian Jhons 200 metes , she place third with bronze and latter promote to silver due to drug conviction case of Marian Jhones . From one perspective 10th year is much better than fifty . I’t took fifty years for Susanthika to break shackle of medals after 1947,Dunken White. In 2000 she became the first Sri Lankan and only woman to win a medal. As usual here after many Sri Lankans see Olympic as less important topic . May be nation prefer luck to override hard work which will never happens on field of Olympics.
For some reason our DNA didnt present world class over fifty years apart exceptions likes of Susanthika and White. Hence no body seems serious . It has right reasons, we don’t have anyone to believe.
Some say Sri Lankans were ignorant , failed nation , they further add inability to win as an accurate fact. I have a question for them , Isn’t it privilege to see male athlete carrying Sri Lankan flag after ten years in 2012 London Olympics ? Perhaps I may be wrong. Our achievement was made sports writers busy during summer games , more work, facts to analyse lengthwise and breadth wise to fill newspaper columns, marketing research companies to earn plenty by doing research. May be our achievement can put to a charts and tables show nicely on a power point presentation zero total in a nice info graphic.
When you think a bit, some critics were actually right , Its true, 28 % of our athletes go through help of wild card. Some considered our team as luckiest and other’s argued as unluckiest. Despite all turmoil going on , two of our responsible media companies gain public attention from Olympic games towards mud sweating garbage campaign to secure broadcast rights in Sri Lanka. Both were throwing mud in mega size posters and banners. It was amazing as our public actually starts to think Olympics actually happening on Colombo 07 and Rathmalana between Government Rupavahini Vs Private Maharaja corporations.
Wild Card : Christine Merrill
Among two wild card entries, one was Christine Merrill a mechanical engineering degree student, born to Sri Lankan parents from San Diego California working full time for San Diego’s Solar turbine in the customer design division, adapting massive gas turbine engines to function in remote locales and climates, be it torrid deserts or Canadian tundra. Lot of Sri Lankans and internet start Googling as she looks like a hot cookie for many. There are people wants to see beauty competition show off in Olympics? But Merrill wish was granted like some ghost in Aladdin lamp. Her luck and talent reserved free tickets to London.
Hooray for Cooray!
In one other corner brave Sri Lankan Bakery worker living in Buckinghamshire by the name of Anuradha Cooray runs along the streets every day ten miles to work making sandwiches and baking savoury pastries in Greggs food. When he runs London Olympics to get qualified among 37,000 participants, he was placed 23rd in 2 hours 17 minutes and 53 seconds to represent Sri Lanka. People start commenting saying “Greggs all the way…..best chicken bake and sausage rolls by far, “Hooray for Cooray!” and his employee named a pastry by his name as an honor. I feel disappointed when primary English school kids eating “cooray” pastries while Sri Lanka media fight hard for television rights. Sri Lanka is starving.
It was 4X100 Woman’s Relay Event
Then there is a Factory in Horana , about 100 km away from Colombo working hard for the glory of Olympics.
When Carmelita Jeter ran the anchor leg clean passes with sparking finish to won gold in a world record 40.82 seconds, shattering the old mark of 41.37 after 27 years. She turned to her left and pointed a finger at the electronic clock beside the track as if to say, “Look at what we just did.” A beat later, the board flashed Jeter’s news in bold type: NEW WR. She capped a blistering race for the United States team, which won its first gold medal in the event in 16 years and did it in emphatic fashion.
Nobody notices they were wearing body suit with a Golf Ball design manufactured in a MAS factory Bodyline Horana in Sri Lanka. When Nike sent one of Advanced Innovation Team member, a former NASA space engineer to Bodyline factory to see a technology pioneered by MAS he realized the same can be used for athletes. He went to Nike and came back with a particular product design which reduces drag and can be used by athletes. They have tested design with 350 other designs and come up with golf ball design which reduce the speed of an athlete by 2-4 % by reducing the drag and aerodynamics, the difference between gold and silver. For the first time Nike came to Sri Lanka for a product they always made in Headquaters in US to Horena, Sri lanka.
Girls sweat days to get kit ready for Olympics. They were eating “coconut” roti () while US woman’s sprinted for gold on Friday night 10th August 2012. These girls remain silent and shared a little smile on their faces when they saw US girls crown in Gold.
Will there be a day for Sri Lanka to crunch gold? There is always hope for sure when you see the golden smiles of these girls. They were unknown champions made legs for champions.