IN MY COMRADES, I SEE NO ATHLETES


TMPDOODLE1441385091939Very few occasions have managed to make my old man, Grandpa Richard, as happy as he was while watching television on Tuesday morning.

It was the grand homecoming of Kenyan athletes who had taken no prisoners while representing us at the IAAF championships in Beijing, China. Team Kenya had bestrode the Bird’s Nest like a colossus. We emerged the best after beating our competitors, leaving them more worn-out than my thesaurus.

Shortly after the televised homecoming, however, Grandpa Richard slipped into a pensive mood, prompting me to enquire what the problem was. “It’s the future of our athletics,” he  replied dolefully.

You see, Grandpa Richard is worried that after the team that made history in  Beijing, which clearly took us to the peak of athletics, it might all be downhill for the country henceforth.

This he attributes to the current languid lifestyle choices by modern youth, who are supposed to carry the mantle after the likes of Ezekiel Kemboi and David Rudisha hang their boots.

A closer look inside the life of, say, deputy team captain Vivian Cheruiyot will reveal that she leads a life of strict diet discipline and does not pop into every other fried chicken outlet she comes across.

What about the current crop of comrades? They’re nothing but corpulent barbarians at chicken and chips eateries.

They order a kilo of French fries and ingest the debilitating fats while they burp and fart their way into obesity and chronic heart diseases. Those are the future athletes that Grandpa Richard cannot stomach.

Allegations of doping have been a dark cloud hanging above our win at the IAAF championships, all because of a few elements keen to spoil our country’s name. It’s a good thing that they were smoked out like cigars before the championship.

ALLEGATIONS OF DOPING

My comrades, on the other hand, are all guilty of doping. They’re hopped up on ecstasy, topped up on cannabis sativa and puffing on shisha. No athlete material here.

With the third-longest throw in history, the YouTube athlete, Julius Yego, is the poster-boy of how the Internet can revolutionise our sporting culture. Sadly, though, instead of engaging in meaningful activities on the Web, my comrades choose to download nefarious pornography and share  “mollis” clips. It’s demeaning and gets my old man’s goat.

Save for rugby, many university sports teams play exactly the same way the students lead their lives — sloppily, haphazardly and without flair. In future, Grandpa predicts, Kenya will have no one willing, or capable, of representing our country in the Olympics. Unless it involves spreading legs somewhere other than on the track field, or it’s the Selfie Olympics. Then we won’t even need any marketing at all. It will be a case where you’re closing the doors and my comrades are flocking in through the windows.

It’s time for my comrades to toughen up and embrace sports for the future of our country.

Lukorito Jones

Lukorito Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.

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