I was chatting to a London colleague about the Olympics. We call him – Stones-because he is always dreaming.

“When I am rich I shall build a huge house- just made of stones.”

Stones is clever and witty-however, there is one thing about this father of four.

“I didn’t watch the Olympics,” he confesses. Stones is not a sports person, never exercises, just busy making money. I was surprised Olympics didn’t interest him, though.

“The games were a huge event,” I said.

He chuckled: “I have got many mouths to feed. Bills. Car. Plus my dream house…”

It was end of August; traditionally almost everyone -in this part of the world-goes on a summer holiday.

“How come you never took the family somewhere?”

Stones shook his head: “This year has been bad. You know how things have been since they introduced cuts.”


“It’s not over yet, though. In October I have promised my family a trip to Morocco.”


“So you don’t like Olympics or was it lack of time?”


“You could have watched Usain Bolt at least. He is phenomenal.”


He started screaming: “Jamaicans have become louder. They are normally cocky but this Usain Bolt thing has made them too-”

He thumped his chest and made a face.

“You mean too confident?”

“Something like that.”

“That is not a bad thing though, is it Stones?”

“It is good and bad. Listen.  There is this Jamaican chap who works for me (Stones owns a construction company). He is happier and has been putting in more hours. He is always wearing those green, yellow, black Jamaican colours and yaks to everyone.”

“And he was never like that?”



“Actually he was never a lazy chap but he has become better if not the best worker  for the past two weeks now. I am secretly planning to give him a pay raise actually.”

Compare Stones to a friend called Masoud. Masoud lives in Iceland. During Idd El Fitr he visited his family in the UK . We met for drinks.

“You enjoyed the Olympics?”

Masoud looked away. “I watched everything except our Tanzanian team. They were a joke, weren’t they?”

Now don’t start.

I told him we had seven athletes who worked hard to come here. They deserve a part on the back.

Masoud laughed: “We are so bad, we are pathetic; we never win anything. We are a bunch of losers.”


Only ten per cent of 10,500 participating Olympians  won medals. The rest, 90 % , went home empty handed, but they represented their countries and were not called losers.

Masoud was yawning. The conversation was boring him.

These two people are a simple example of what sports can offer us. Sports is a great psychological boost to humanity.  It makes people happier and confident.  It can also be a depressing highway.  Driving us down hill, to feelings of sadness and failure.

Let us promote sports and cheer our athletes.

Email: [email protected]




Written by Israel Saria

For the last 20 years I have been working as a football pundit. This experience has provided me with a very useful insight into football and the opportunity to carry out extensive research into the game including its players, the stadiums, the rules and tactics and I have also been grateful to meet a wide range of people connected to football in the UK, Tanzania, Germany .....

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