Since Liberia gained its independence in 1847, coupled with the commencement of the first modern Olympics in Athens, Greece 39 years later, no Liberian has reached the semifinals of any of the Olympic Games. To add insult to injury, coming from the backdrop of governance misrule, war and economic hardship, Liberia has always been relegated to the dustbin of Olympic glory, struggling to participate despite little or no funding from national government – until few weeks ago when a motley crew of Liberians showed up at the Tokyo Olympics splendidly attired in blazing outfits designed by the internationally acclaimed Americo-Liberian designer, Telfar. Since then, the sterling performance of the current cadre of Liberian Olympians is sending shock waves across the globe, as the tiny West African nation, for the first time in it centuries old history, fights to attain Olympian glory. As one Liberian Olympian qualifies for the 200 meters finals, and two others have carried Liberia for the first time to the semifinals in track and field, Liberians back home, including former Vice President Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai and renowned statesman and politician Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, have joined the crescendo of rally, amplifying the extraordinary feat of their compatriots.
“Dazzling, Enthralling, Heartwarming Performances” – JNB
Making his position known Tuesday, August 3, 2021, former VP Joseph Boakai noted that over the past two weeks he had found some quality time to watch the nation’s incredible athletes fiercely and courageously competing in the Olympic Games taking place in Tokyo, Japan.
“The performances of these remarkable young and talented Liberian athletes have been dazzling, enthralling, and heartwarming. Watching them raise the flag of Liberia high through such epic and breathtaking performances has brought me so much delight and honor. I could not have been prouder as a Liberian. For this singular and magnificent act of patriotism, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and most respect to all of them for effectively representing Liberia at the Olympics so far,” Ambassador Boakai stated, thanking all who made the athletes participation in ongoing Olympics possible.
“I say thank you from the depth of my heart, and may God bless you handsomely. You are collectively the true epitome of Liberian generosity and decency. This is the true meaning and spirit of my mantra: Think, Love, and Build Liberia,” JNB noted.
Continuing, Ambassador Boakai said, the intriguing and colorful performances at the Olympics by these promising athletes tell how preparation, discipline, courage, passion, and determination can propel an athlete to the stratosphere, a teaching moment he admonishes other young Liberian athletes at home to emulate in their sprouting quest to rise to stardom someday.
“Also to be participating in those games proudly donned in their Red, White, and Blue outfits, and demonstrating such commitment, energy, tenacity, and resilience in honor of their homeland, Liberia, certainly illustrates the exemplary gem of citizens they are and set them apart as true patriots of our homeland.
So, with much delight and gratitude, I say to our heroic athletes, Ebony Morrison, Joseph Fahnbulleh, and Emmanuel Matadi (all Track & Field) a big thank you for standing tall for Liberia and making us a proud nation. In you, we find faith and courage that the Liberian narratives will change someday from tales of shame and misery to songs of blossoming glory—where the nation will once again daringly rise to become the beacon of hope for Africa. I send my prayers, love, and wish you the best of luck in your remaining games. In our history book, each of you has a lofty page,” the eminent statesman said.
Tipoteh Lauds Olympian Fahnbulleh
Joining the fray, Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh especially hailed one of Liberia’s participants in the ongoing Olympics, the youthful Liberian Joseph Fahnbulleh, based in the United States of America (USA), who is poised to win Liberia’s first medal in any Olympics.
Born on September 11, 2001 in Liberia, the 19 year-old Fahnbulleh is in the finals of the 200 meters race at the Tokyo Olympics.
“For those persons who think that one person cannot make a difference for the better, I show them the youthful Liberian Fahnbulleh who is representing Liberia at the Tokyo Olympics. Having won the gold medal at USA College Champions, Fahnbulleh could have opted to be money-driven and taken on the USA citizenship to represent the USA. But no, Fahnbulleh is driven by Love of Liberia and he chose to represent Liberia at the Tokyo Olympics,” Dr. Tipoteh intoned, noting that whether or not Fahnbulleh wins a medal, he is already a winner because he has raised high the Flag of Liberia in the Global Community.
“Let us celebrate the shining example of the youthful Joseph Fahnbulleh for him to prevail as we sing All Hail Liberia All Hail,” Dr. Tipoteh stated patriotically.