This year’s Rio Olympic games opened up to the world how terribly most African Olympians, and more importantly, Olympic medalists are treated after representing their countries.
Though the accusations of poor treatment towards Olympians or Olympic medalists applied to almost all African countries, Kenya and Nigeria took the brunt of it as reports of poor management trailed their athlete’s Olympic journeys.
Whereas Nigeria’s failings towards the Olympics were glaringly showcased in the treatment of the country’s football team, Kenya’s track and field stars who did shine for their country likewise suffered many instances of mismanagement which led to the disbandment of the Kenyan Olympic Committee by the country’s sports minister.
Zimbabwe also showed up in the news when it was alleged that the country’s President, Robert Mugabe, called for the arrest of the country’s Olympians for failing to bring any medals home. With all these less than appropriate treatments of various Olympic teams on the continent, Ivory Coast on Monday presented a different story in the aftermath of the games.
The two Olympic medalists of Ivory Coast have been rewarded hugely by the President. They were congratulated by President Alassane Ouattara on Monday and the President went on to award them with some prizes. Cheick Cisse who brought home the gold in Taekwondo (the country’s first ever gold medal) was given $85,000 and Ruth Gbagbi who brought home a Taekwondo bronze was given $51,000.
BBC also reports that they both received a house each along with the money gift. At a ceremony early on Monday, Cheick Cisse let the president try on his medal and the president’s wife Dominique wore Gbagbi’s medal.
It is a much better story of rewards from the Olympic games for Africa, one that will present a better picture to younger people who have dreams of participating in athletics.