Venezuelan olympic performance cursed by Tibetan issue? (updated)
Caracas, Venezuela, 24 August 2008. As Beijing bids farewell to Olympics , Venezuela continues to hotly debate over the performance of its athletes. Despite having boasted a major breakthrough in Olympic attendance as the result of the current Socialist government, the Chavez administration counted eggs before they hatched. Venezuela sent 109 athletes to the Olympics but only scored one medal. 24 year old athlete Dalia Contreras won bronze medal in a women taekwondo competition.
The local opposition has criticised such poor performance as the result of bad management. Some opposition politicians have even suggested Venezuela got 109 places in the Olympics as a Chinese gratitude gesture after Chavez condemned the Tibetan upraise before the Olympic games and the Dalai Lama. They have further argued that athletes were ill prepared to confront such wold challenge.
On the other hand, pro government sectors continue to hail the Venezuelan Olympics performance and blame failure to win medals on bad private media coverage. . In a desperate move to taint the performance of other nations at the Beijing Olympics, Public Service Television TVES broadcasted a horrid show. Few days ago, TVES sports anchor Willy Oviedo mixed historical facts on Olympic games to disdain the unprecedented victory of American Michael Phelps. Willy Oviedo said American Phelps had not been granted previous gold medals at Munich Olympics in 1972 by Adolf Hitler (see Video). On Sunday, President Chavez rejected allegations that a bronze medal costed dearly. A local nespaper said it costed 30 million bolivares or US$ 13,953.
In addition, the nation wide government propaganda on Olympic attendance cannot erase the grievances of athletes themselves. Form Beijing, they claimed sport outfits did not arrive on time or at their size. Venezuelan Embassy at China seemed to have made profit on their participation too. Furthermore and after her attendance to the Athens Olympics four years ago, Beijing Bronze medal winner Dalia Contreras had been offered a house by President Chavez but received none. Today and on his weekly show Alo Presidente, President Chavez was met by the athletes themselves. They expressed how enslaved and ill paid they felt under current sport management. Chavez was forced to call on the creation of a new administrative office at PDVSA, Venezuelan oil company, to learn from the Athletes concerns and recommendations. As seen in the enclosed photo occasion with President Chavez, neither one of the Venezuelan Olympic athletes posed wearing the traditional red outfit.
The saga on the Venezuelan failure to score better at the Olympic games will most likely continue as the country learns more facts about official sport management and another failure of the government propaganda machine during the Olympic games. Certainly, there was no Tibetan curse on the Venezuelan athletes.