There may well be a sense in which the critics are right. There may yet not be reason enough for us in St Vincent and the Grenadines to have high hopes of winning an Olympic Games medal at the Beijing Olympics. There are a number of reasons for this.
In an earlier column it was made clear which sporting disciplines were eligible for the Beijing Olympics and why they did not make it. Of the sporting disciplines practised in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Cycling, Squash, Swimming (now part of Aquatics in the Olympic designation), Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis and Volleyball were all eligible to participate in the Beijing Olympics. Each of the aforementioned disciplines were subjected to the standards established by their respective International Federations (IF), approved and implemented by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the Games. The time frame for making the standards is not the same for the various sports on the Olympic Games programme.
The IFs of Athletics and Aquatics are the only two organisations that have convinced the IOC that regardless of established standards they permit one male and one female athlete to compete at their respective World Championships and in their events at the quadrennial Olympic Games.
In the case of St Vincent and the Grenadines, the athletes in the different sporting disciplines failed to make the established standards, with the sole exception of Kineke Alexander who made the B Standard in the 400m.
The Vincentian reality is that only Athletics and Aquatics were therefore eligible to compete at the Olympic Games. The problem in respect of Aquatics is that our Swimming Association is only involved in the swimming component of the sport. Additionally there is no swimming pool in St Vincent and the Grenadines that comes close to what would be considered even remotely adequate for the training of our locally based athletes in the sport and we do not have any athletes overseas, at least not since Donito De Freitas ceased competing in the sport.