I am writing in response to the somewhat circus I have consequently created through the voicing of concern. I am saddened with how such a serious issue has turned into a media frenzy, creating a divide between athletes and officials.
That was not my intention.
I continue to be grateful by the fact that the Prime Minister entrusted me to represent Samoa with high regards; to represent Samoa with respect and honor. I have kept that at the forefront of my work ever since.
My initial letter did not call any individual out specifically, but the whole of sports. Though we all have different goals, we still operate under one flag.
I simply wanted us to all be accountable for our work, including myself.
I was caught off guard with the misuse of my words by several people, including the Observer, and want to make clear that I am neither pointing fingers nor putting blame on any specific entity. Since my initial years of representing Samoa, there has been positive change.
But we need more.
For those who did not know, I have a brain condition that am uncertain of its affects. I underwent numerous chemotherapy and radiation treatment during my 2012 season, and knew that my time had to have meaning.
I wanted the last years of my career to mean something, so I made the switch to Samoa.
My “dwindling” career or my failure to make U.S.A. teams (after having already made several teams previously) was not the reason.
I have several educational degrees, including a Juris Doctorate, a Master’s in business administration and a Bachelors in Neurophysiology, that I can make a real career with a solid income.
But my heart has directed me to continue this career of running in circles.
I have experienced some faulty work by sporting officials, one recently being the failure to turn in paperwork on time to receive grants from the International Olympic Committee.
I am upset because that funding was going to be used to pay for flights back and forth to Samoa, so that I can be more involved in the development of local athletes.
Without that funding, I am unable to make the trip as often as I would like now, if at all.
There has been a large amount of those agreeing with my initial letter, people calling for change within all sports.
But I did not want a disconnect of the support from the people to happen.
We need the support of the citizens, but the citizens must trust the efforts of the sports.
Sports has been failing to do that, hence my concerning remarks.
Who am I to ever say anything? Maybe I am the outside perspective that cares, because sometimes it is difficult to see through the haze from within.