LONDON was Alia Atkinson’s third Olympic Games but it was also her breakthrough moment and her performance there catapulted Jamaican swimming to a whole new level. Atkinson first competed in Athens in 2004 and finished 25th in the 200m breaststroke in Beijing in 2008, but as a 23-year-old with college experience under her belt, Atkinson went to a third Olympic Games. Having tied with Canadian Tera van Beilen for eighth place in the semi-finals of the women’s 100m breaststroke, Atkinson was forced to swim off with the North American to decide a spot in the final. Then-Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica president, Martin Lyn recalls the intensity of the experience. “At first she was a little almost nervous even though it was her third Olympics but as she progressed she became more and more confident. That came to a head when the swim-off occurred. She was ready to swim but the Canadians wanted to put the swim-off to the next day and we (Jamaican officials) ensured that the swim occurred within hours of the previous swim and because she was so fit and ready she was able to perform and she won the swim off by metres,” Lyn told The Gleaner. The swimmer was supported by members of the Jamaican contingent in the Olympic Pool at the finals in London and they watched as Atkinson came within metres of a bronze medal. She eventually finished fourth Lyn, who was president of the ASAJ from 2009-2015, said Atkinson’s exploits in London helped to attract more interest and sponsors to the sport, as the image of swimming being one for elitists, slowly shifted. “The popularity of aquatics definitely grew as a result of Alia’s performance and more sponsors became aware. It takes more work for us to push sponsorship and to bring up other Alia’s in Jamaica and we have in Jamaica which are very many (like her). We have a great programme and I see where we can produce many more Olympians in the pool,” Lyn said. He added that the increased sponsorship helped the association to send Atkinson to events overseas which helped improve her stature as well. “It (London) was the first time she was swimming against Europeans because she had never been to Europe and we were able to send her to Europe after that which is why she has been able to do so much better,” he noted. Atkinson, now 27, is looking forward to her fourth Olympics. Since 2012 she became the first black woman to win a world title when she set a world record in the 100m breaststroke at the 2014 Short Course World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Atkinson also won a bronze medal in 100m breaststroke and silver in the 50m breaststroke at the Long Course World Championships in Kazan, Russia in 2015.
Trevor Noah continues his world domination since taking over as host of American comedy news show The Daily Show. In addition to his sell-out comedy tours in the US and South Africa and his bestselling memoir, Born A Crime, Noah has won his first Emmy award.Trevor Noah joined the Daily Show as host in September 2015, and has since then received critical and popular acclaim for his distinctive comedic flair and level-headed commentary to the American and global political climate. (Image: YouTube)CD AndersonNoah won the award for Best Short Form Variety Series, specifically for the popular YouTube insert The Daily Show: Between the Scenes, in which Noah provides web-exclusive commentary to political events in the US and around the world.The award was part of the Emmy Creative Arts ceremony that highlights production and technical work in television, as well as outstanding short form and new media programming.Watch one of Trevor Noah’s Between the Scenes videos below:The main ceremony, focused on the best of full-length dramatic and comedy television takes place on 17 September 2017.The Daily Show insert beat other nominees that included YouTube favourites Epic Rap Battles and Honest Trailers.News of Noah’s win provoked a wave of national pride among South African Twitter users, as well as a notable shout-out from South African opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to whom Noah responded in his distinctive comedic flair, much to the amusement of South Africans.EFF congratulates @Trevornoah for winning his first Emmy for The Daily Show: continue to make us proud ?? pic.twitter.com/IkkIEzsbTB— EFF (@EFFSouthAfrica) September 11, 2017Thank you comrades. Where would my comedy career be without you! ? https://t.co/P1YOyTQtqi— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) September 11, 2017Source: News24Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
ATHENS – With the budget for athletics cut in half, the Hellenic Gymnastics Federation has canceled the upcoming national championships, leaving its top stars shocked that a centerpiece of the Olympics and Greek sports had been set aside.“All I can say is that everything seems to go from bad to worse,” rings specialist Eleftherios Petrounias told Greek media. “We didn’t even know the basics. Seriously we didn’t ever expect that we wouldn’t even have the chance to compete at the Greek championships, even traveling at our own expense.”The federation cancelled the event after the Greek Olympic Committee urged a boycott of all national sports competition from April 12-13, to protest the Greek government’s actions amid the nation’s ongoing financial crisis, International Gymnast magazine noted“The council of the Greek Olympic Committee decided unanimously to recommend to all amateur sports federations in the country that they suspend all competitive activities for the weekend of April 12-13, due to the huge problems Greek sports continue to undergo after the consistent refusal of the government to provide solutions not only to economic issues, but mainly to institutional problems,” the Greek Olympic Committee announced on its website“The recommendation for the suspension is a first measure … to protest the continued inaction and indifference shown by the government toward the country’s youth, who risk being deprived of important social services, such as sports.”The 2014 Greek Gymnastics Championships were to take place April 12-13 in Thessaloniki, where hundreds of gymnasts were to compete at multiple levels. The event was supposed to serve as a qualifier for next month’s European championships in neighboring Bulgaria.Following the announcement from the Greek Olympic Committee, the board of the Hellenic Gymnastics Federation held an emergency meeting on April 1 and decided to join the boycott.“With this decision, the board of the Hellenic Gymnastics Federation hopes to finally wake up minds, that state agencies need to take action and provide solutions to the enormous economic and institutional problems in Greek sports,” the federation said in a statement.The 2010 world floor exercise champion Eleftherios Kosmidis said the decisions of both governing bodies have left the athletes to suffer.“Everyone is to blame,” Kosmidis said. “It starts with the sports leadership and ultimately the athletes pay the price. Everybody is at fault.”TweetPinShare0 Shares