News24

Zuma asks for Olympic winners

2012-07-12 21:18

Pretoria - It is the SA Olympic and Paralympic athletes' time to take the country to greater heights when they represent South Africa on the global stage, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.

He was giving the team a final send-off at the presidential guest house in Pretoria on Thursday evening.

The Olympic Games take place from July 27 to August 12, and the Paralympic Games from August 29 to September 9.

"Team South Africa, now is your turn to take this nation to even greater heights," Zuma told the athletes.

"We have been to Beijing and now going to London and you must do better than in Beijing."

Zuma made it clear that he and the country had great expectations of the teams at the Games.

"In sport there must be a loser, there must be a winner, all I'm saying is we should be the latter," he said.

Zuma said the team should dedicate the Games to former President Nelson Mandela.

"Win for South Africa and for Africa, and perhaps as important as the others, win for Nelson Mandela, who is turning 94-years-old on July 18.

"He laid the foundation for a winning nation in 1994. We are a winning nation and I can tell you we are going to win," he said.

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Comments
  • brendan.r.dunne - 2012-07-12 22:27

    What is it with Zuma going so nutty about Mandela lately. yeah it's his birthday soon but seriously. Seems to be in most of his speeches. He's riding that horse hard trying to secure the emotional vote for the future or something. I dunno! It's just bugging me. But on a more positive note, will give him props on giving the athletes a bit of a pep talk. No doubt they will do South Africa proud. Exciting times ahead!

      triumphant.voice.58 - 2012-07-13 09:24

      His political street cred is draining, so he's hoping he can get his shine back by cuddling up to Madiba.

  • lassiestevens - 2012-07-12 22:45

    Zuma is such a daft prick. Stop trying to ride the coat tails of Nelson Mandela, dushbag! The reason we have failed so miserably at previous Olympic Games is because we invest absolutely no money in Olympic Sports. His opinions on this matter are almost as stupid as his opinions on AIDS. That we moved from the heroic figure of Nelson Mandela to a thieving moron is nothing other than sad. PS - I wish the SA team the best of luck. It just sickens me to hear this ignorant prick laying down a gauntlet of expectation when his political registration is directly responsible for the sorry state of South African sport.

  • maokeng.mankge - 2012-07-12 23:24

    JZ wht d u know bwt sports coz u neva played any.U only interested in punapuna..Go 2 nkandla n develop it

      william.letsong.5 - 2012-07-13 04:03

      Nkandla is than rural Kwa-Zulu Natal's New York.

  • boereroo.jackman - 2012-07-13 01:29

    Funniest story of the week. Ask (demand) all you want Spear boy, you may be lucky to get three.

  • Asdiedamwalbars - 2012-07-13 06:43

    What did the Government do to help athletes financially to prepare.. instead of watching them to suffer to get sponsored that they can prepare in advance.. Now that some of them can go and compete, they want to uplift them morally. Do we have something in place in South Africa in comparison with the great medal winners like Australia..USA.. Russia.. China.. Cuba.. England.. from Government side to prepare our sports men and woman well.. accept what we do now wrong? If we won Gold will it be on the credit only of the athletes and there struggling affiliated bodies. As a Country will we support them all the way. Good Luck to them.

  • Theo Ferreira - 2012-07-13 07:03

    Silly Zuma. Poor guy doesn't know when to turn off the political bullsh... I mean charm. He thinks he is speaking to his ancestor-fearing voters.

  • triumphant.voice.58 - 2012-07-13 09:25

    What would be interesting is how much support the ANC lead government provides to the sporting arean in SA. It would be ironic if the majority of the SA Atheletes are on corporate sponsors owing to a cut in Government subsidy!

  • peter.burgess.7902 - 2012-07-13 12:37

    Did anyone actually hear the news clip shown on eNews last night which had Zuma making his highly "motivational" speech to the athletes - he said "I'm just saying to you in sport there are winners and there are losers.... we must make sure we are not the LATTER???" (Not necessarily verbatim) Can someone please explain to him that "latter" means the second of the two - ie "losers"....

  • sean.odonnell.1466126 - 2012-07-13 14:27

    'time to take the country to greater heights...."....and many are asking the same of YOU, Mr President, but you just keep wiping your ass on us

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