Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee confirmed the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the general appreciation of the decision, one wonders what went through the minds of the qualified Ugandan athletes, who were eager to debut on the global stage.
We spoke to Shadir Bwogi Musa, the first Ugandan boxer to qualify.
The last day of February 2020 is one that boxer Shadir Musa Bwogi will never forget. When the man at the center lifted his hand in confirmation of his victory against Ghanaian Jessie Lartey in his welterweight box off, Musa had not only become Uganda’s first boxer to qualify for the Olympics in 12 years but had achieved the dream he was always working for.
As a testimony of how important this was, not so long after his return from the Senegalese capital were he qualified from, Bwogi inked himself with the famous Olympic symbol, the five interlaced rings.
“I put this tattoo to mark the achievement of my dream. My coaches always told me that every great boxer has to be an olympian. So I worked hard and finally qualified.” Shadir Musa said.
The coronavirus Pandemic made it inevitable that the Olympics had to be pushed further.
He surprisingly chooses to focus on the advantage that comes with the postponement, since it buys him more time to prepare, despite noting the financial implications it has.
“It gives me enough time to train. Even when we were going to Senegal, we did not have enough training, but at least now, we have time to achieve everything. We had planned for three to four months, but now its a year, I request UOC, IOC, and UBF to come to our rescue.” He said.
To calm his fears, the Uganda Olympic Committee President, William Blick, revealed that they had requested the International Olympic Committee to support them with extra funds.