Everyone is anxiously awaiting the International Olympic Committee’s (I.O.C) official announcement to restore the rightful silver medal that belongs to Ele Opeloge for her outstanding performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
None more anxious than the Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C) , Fa’amausili Taiva Ah Young.
Faamausili spoke to the Samoa Observer yesterday about the process S.A.S.N.O.C is going through at the moment in regards to the medal presentation in conjunction with the I.O.C.
As of now, S.A.S.N.O.C is anxiously anticipating a call form the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C) to confirm Ele Opelopge’s Olympic medal.
Once that is confirmed, S.A.S.N.O.C will negotiate with the I.O.C. to bring the medal presentation to it’s rightful homeland.
He stated, “I’m not sure but I heard that in the past, a presentation was done similar to this situation as well was actually done in the country. Let’s all hope that it will be the same.”
Mr. Ah Young stated, “Personally, I would love to see a huge celebration. We deserve a huge celebration for that. It depends what I.O.C (International Olympic Committee) is planning for that. We might be asking for the presentation to be done here but they might say it has to be done in Switzerland. “
“So we need to negotiate on that, but at the moment, we would love to see the presentation done here.”
“We hope it can come in as soon as it can. Because a lot of people are very anxious about the whole thing. So it’s good to get it done with and move on. “
The only thing standing in the way of the momentous occasion is the I.O.C’s ruling on the case.
He stated, “The International Federation for Weightlifting has already given their endorsement. But once that is done, it goes to the I.O.C, for the final clearance or official announcement and that’s what we’re waiting for, patiently and anxiously. “
How will we celebrate such a historical event for Samoa? Public holiday?
Mr. Ah Young has yet to confirm, he stated, “That’s going to come from the government. That’s really a cabinet and Prime Minister’s decision not ours.”
S.A.S.N.O.C has not reached out to the Opeloge family as of yet and is awaiting final confirmation.
He stated,“I haven’t spoken to the family, we’re just waiting. I think it’s a good thing to wait until everything is confirmed. We can talk to the family knowing the fact is there.”
“We would love to see Ele being brought here, if it’s going to be here. It all depends on what the I.O.C wants. Then it’s just a matter of negotiation.”