The Vice President of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) Dr Patrick Coker has been speaking on this year’s Olympic Games in China, slated for August 8, where two Sierra Leonean athletes will be taking part in the competition.
He told journalists that if there were no athletes going to the game, there are four permanent people that are supposed to go to the games as they have the functions to attend and these are the President of NOC, NOC Secretary General, the Minister of Sports and his technical adviser are always invited to the games.
He noted that it is a different situation when you decide to go with a team, which makes the number increase. He mentioned that Sierra Leone does not qualify as a team, so as an Olympic country they have to take along two unqualified athletes: One male and one female.
These athletes have to be accompanied by their different coaches and the delegation will also have a Chef De Mission that will be in charge of all arrangement for the games.
He added that the Minister of Sports, the NOC president and his Secretary General are entitled to guest. Government or the International Olympic Committee will not pay for the guests as they are responsible for their airfare accommodation and feeding.
The organized committee inside the International Olympic Committee that is responsible for the games will pay for the Chef de mission and both the NOC President and the Secretary General.
He said that government will provide the uniform, kits and government will also provide per diem.
He mentioned that the difference between the Olympic Games and the other games was the qualifying standard for the Olympic Games that limits the number of athletes they could send.
But in the commonwealth game and the Africa games, you can take as many athletes as you can, as long as you can pay for them.
He said lack of inter-regional competition and funding were reasons that prevented Sierra Leone from qualifying for the games.