And there came the London 2012 Olympics. A dream that the Great Britain were anxiously waiting for. After a spectacular Opening ceremony, the games began in earnest. Old records were broken and new ones were set.
It was a period of our lives we will forever cherish. We as school children in Ghana always looked up to the vacation to be mesmerized by the dazzling performances by the athletes which invoked in us the desire to attain such greatness in our very own version of the Olympics in the play ground. My personal favorite was the gymnastics which we nicked name “acrobatics”.
As the Olympics ended a few days ago, I reminisce how we enjoyed and appreciated our version of the Olympics. The same way the world reveres the Olympics as a unifier, so did our version do. Socialization was at its peak, friendship and bonds were formed.
If the Olympics have disciplines on the tracks and fields like Javelin, Shot put, Archery and the likes, we can also boast of ‘KOYONSOR ()). It is made from the famous Titus Sardine key opener which is folded with a feather from a chicken inserted at the tail end. Called it our version of the Dart or Archery.
We equally can boast of relay events that can match the Olympics boot for boot. Talk about Stay, Are you Ready, Yaasamebo, Julor K3 Police and many more of which you will not be disqualified after three (3) false starts.
As well as they can boast of the Lawn tennis event or discipline, we were innovative enough to create Headings or D3d Ball game which is less stressful, injury free but a good source of work-out exercise.
Let the world talk of swimming, scuba diving and all the water sports, we have the Golden Fish Fiesta. Here the winner is not determined by backstroking, free styling or even the famous butter flying but any of the competitors is declared the champion if you are able to catch the ‘Golden Fish’ popularly known in our local setting as ‘Yaa Baaby’.
We also pride ourselves in a discipline which was and has always been a beauty to watch. It has exclusivity to the girls or women and it’s called AMPE. Well as we all recognize soccer as a male dominated discipline, so is AMPE to the women of Ghana. The idea of promoting this sport as an Olympic discipline, like Judo, never materialized and still very illusive to many. Well we don’t care, really because it remains exclusive to our version. Talk of a discipline that requires accuracy and precision comes our very own “Four Corners”. A game of football with four goal posts (small) in a square like shape. It’s a one touch kick to the opponent’s goal post. A total of four competitors at a time and when you concede a goal, you are eliminated for the entry of a new competitor. That’s our innovative side if you want to talk about football as we’ve done the tennis.
The Olympics has ended and has once again lived up to expectation and even though we cannot go back to the playground to relive those moments, I’m of the strong view that the Olympics should engulf some degree of African games otherwise what’s the point of Africans participating in it.
Qwophi Opare : @qwophicedi on Twitter
Seth Laryea : @niiGamantselary on Twitter