Ismail Ahmed Ismail, an 800 meter sprinter, won Sudan’s first ever Olympic medal during this summer’s games in Beijing.
The victory shines a positive ray of hope upon the ruins of a region dominated by corruption, death and destruction. In Sudan, the media, as of late, has focused mainly on the situation in Darfur and the recent criminal charges made against the country’s president, Omar al-Bashir.
Ever since Ismail’s silver medal performance, the country’s newspapers, on both ends of the political spectrum, have applauded and praised his performance as that of a national hero.
The people of Sudan have long been searching for something to distract them from the situation that surrounds them, the despondency that lurks behind every turn and greets them everywhere they go. To have Ismail perform at his best during the Olympics, the largest and most prestigious sporting event in the world, seems only too good to be true.
Hopefully this marks a turning point for Sudan, it’s doubtful this will have any effect on politics, however, it certainly is a symbol of a brighter, shinier future.
Ismail’s medal allows the world to glimpse inside the other side of Sudanese life; the nation’s reaction reinforces the fact that, like every other country, the citizens hope and dream that their athletes will represent well at the Olympics and bring home some hardware.
It’s nice to have a positive news story come out of a region where 2.5 million have been displaced and up to 300,000 have reportedly been killed.
Hopefully it’s the beginning of an Olympic future.