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President’s Voice – Gideon Sam

It’s been a long time since we’ve had to endure so many tough days at the office here at Olympic House.
The death of not one but three top flight athletes has really shaken us and we are still trying to come to terms with these untimely deaths.
We were still preparing to pay our last respects to former Olympic athlete, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, when the tragic shooting of our national football captain and Orlando Pirates captain, Senzo Meyiwa, rocked us hard and left us totally perplexed.
As if this was not enough for one weekend, we also had to say farewell to Phindile Mwelase, who was injured in a boxing bout and never recovered.
The nation is still in shock and from the very top leadership of the country, condolences have been expressed to the bereaved families.
One thing though, the outpouring of emotions at the death of these athletes has showed once again that when the chips are down, this rainbow nation can stand together and the grieving families will know that they are not alone in their sorrows. It should go without saying that the entire country is in mourning.
So many questions have been raised and will continue to be raised but from a sporting perspective we know that we are stalked by death all the time.
What is difficult to understand is when it is a violent death caused by the barrel of a gun as in the case of Senzo.
We are certain that the law enforcers will bring the culprits to a court of law. Life goes on though, it simply has to, and our athletes from all around the country and globe, have expressed their shock and disbelief at the untimely deaths.
Meanwhile they continue to represent their country with pride in all codes. Chad le Clos, what an inspiration, continues to win gold medals as though it’s second nature and Myles Brown and Roland Schoeman also tasted success in Beijing recently.
Congratulations to our Proteas who saw off New Zealand away from home in the ODI series and also to Dolphins batsmen Morné van Wyk and and Cameron Delport who set a new world A-list cricket partnership.
And then we must congratulate those chosen for SA rugby’s ultimate honour, that of being chosen for the Springboks, as they prepare to head off to their end-of-year tour to the United Kingdom.
And then our archers have shot the lights out in the north of the continent where Sandra Prinsloo and Marco di Matteo did us proud with gold and silver medals in two top tournaments.
So although there is much sadness in SA sport right now, it’s good to have these rays of sporting light amongst the gloom…


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