Friday, August 8, 2008
Egyptians in Beijing
Egypt has some high hopes for the Olympic games this year, and its a good thing most of those expectations rest on the shoulders of their champion Greco-Roman wrestler. Karam Gaber won gold in 2004, and the 29 year old is back to defend his big win. Fittingly, this Greco-Roman wrestler was born in Alexandria, a town which manages to maintain its Greco-Roman heritage while remaining distinctly Egyptian. But Egypt also might be able to make a name for itself in other fields. With 100 athletes competing in a number of different sports, Egyptian Olympians continue to proudly represent their country. One of the most promising athletes is Aya Medani, 19 year old modern pentathalete. As a 15 year old, she managed to compete in the 2004 games. Aya has grown stronger, and more competitive, and is likely to medal in the event. Egypt is also proud to boast Sherine El Zeiny, who is the only African gymnast to compete during the games. El-Zeiny comments on her first experience at the Olympics, "Being the only one from Africa is very exciting. It motivates me as I would like to make people from Egypt and Africa proud." Men and women, from taekwondo to synchronized swimming, these athletes remind us what the games are really about. Egypt may not win the most medals, but its athletes continue to give all Egyptians something to be proud of.