Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has given his blessings to Team Samoa for the Rio Olympic Games.
He encouraged them to do their best for Samoa during a meeting with the team inside his office, urging them to break Samoa’s medal drought.
“This competition will not be easy and it has never been easy,” he said.
“It is different from all the other competitions that you have participated in and it is much harder than all of those other competitions held in the South Pacific,” he said.
“The truth is we have come to this point and we still haven’t won any medals ever since we participated in the Olympics and that shows how tough these competitions are.”
But that doesn’t mean athletes should settle for second best. Tuilaepa reminded them that they should do their best for their country.
“Before, I used to ask for new records that had been set by athletes so that we will know which athletes have the chance of winning a medal.
“At this point the athletes still have the mentality that even if we don’t win a medal, the most important thing is we participate.
“That mentality only works for those countries that have a lot of money but not to small countries like us.”
The Prime Minister also challenged the sporting fraternity, especially coaches to rise up. “The challenge is for coaches the train the athletes harder.
“Because we should be a hundred percent sure whether we will get medals or not even before we go to these competitions.”
Tuilaepa reminded the athletes to stay together and look out for one another.
“We all have seen in countries like these that there are always trouble makers that roam around so I urge you to stay together,” he said.
“I know there will be a lot of security officials and police officers to guard the athletes so make sure you don’t go anywhere that you are not supposed to go.
“Stay with your coaches and the officials that you will travel with.”
“We will stay behind and support you by praying for you and for your safety as you represent our country, may the Lord be with you and have faith.”