By Leocadia Bongben
The Cameroon government represented by the Prime Minister, Philemon Yang bid farewell to the Cameroon Olympic Team going to camp in Aberdeen ahead of the London Olympic Games.
On the occasion, Yang handed the Olympic flag to the flag-bearer, Ali Annabel Laure following the Olympic tradition during a ceremony held at the National Olympic and Sports Committee, NOSC on June 3.
The tradition stipulates that the head of mission to the games, (David Oyong) hands the flag to the Prime Minister who in turn hands it over to the flag-bearer.
Cameroon adhered to this old Olympic tradition four years ago during the Beijing Olympics.
On the occasion, the flag-bearer on behalf of the Cameroonian athletes pledged to respect Olympic values especially winning honourably without drugs.
“Ai Annabel Laure was elected the flag-bearer of the Cameroon Olympic Team because she was the first to qualify for the Olympic Games, besides being the World Beach Wrestling Champion, Vice World Wrestling Champion and three times Africa Champion”, NOSC President, Colonel Kalkaba recalled.
Kalkaba said the participation of Cameroon in the Olympic Games this year has been the fruit of the new dynamism of the authorities and the Committee since their first participation in 1964.
He urged the athletes to take the firm engagement of overcoming obstacles after qualification and continue preparations to make a rich harvest of medals. “We count on your ‘fighting spirit’, ‘the Lions Spirit’ that has been the label of national champions”.
The Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Adoum Garoua also urged the athletes to be courageous and make the country proud.
The 33 Cameroonian athletes to represent the country for the 2012 Olympic Games in London have left for Aberdeen to continue training ahead of the games to officially kick off on July 27.
Cameroon Olympic Team is made up of two representatives in Athletics, five in boxing, 18 in female football, one in judo, one in wrestling, two in swimming, one rowing, two in weightlifting and one in table tennis.
The team is highly feminised with 23 girls and 10 boys. Only one athlete would represent Cameroon in Paralympics sports.