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calendar   Saturday - August 30, 2008

Mugabe pays off foreign athletes?

W.T.F.?

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Friday handed the country’s only Olympic medalist in Beijing a $100,000 cash reward for her performance at the games.
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Swimmer Kirsty Coventry smashed the world record to win gold in the women’s 200 meters backstroke. She also captured three silver medals.

Mugabe handed the U.S-based swimmer the cash at a ceremony in Harare carried live on state television.

“Our national spirit must exude joy and pleasure and say you have done well, daughter of Zimbabwe. We are proud of you, we wish you well. She’s our golden girl ... take care of her,” he said at the ceremony.

The U.S. dollars, scarce in a country struggling with an economic crisis marked by a severe shortage of foreign currency, were carried in a briefcase by Zimbabwe’s central bank governor.

Other members of Zimbabwe’s Olympic team received between $2,000 and $10,000 each.

No truth to the rumor that Coventry then had to flee the country before her lands were stolen, her farmhouse burned down, and before she was raped and mutilated as punishment for being white.

What we have here is really just a sponsorship, but it certainly points out a big hole in the Olympic rules. I think you should have to be a citizen of the country you are competing for, for at least 10 years prior to your Olympics. Otherwise you’re just a carpetbagger, and the entire concept of national representation goes out the window. Especially when you get a bag of money on national TV that represents half the host nation’s cash assets.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/30/2008 at 04:09 PM   
Filed Under: • Sports •  
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