Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Time for 'Team Cymru'

If like me you're someone who thinks Wales should be a self governing country it's hard to feel anything except a sense of general ambivalence when watching the achievements of team GB in the recent Rio olympic games. You certainly cant help but marvel at the performances of superb athletes like Mo Farah - and i was pleased to see Welsh athletes like Jade Jones win another gold medal - but the difficulty i have is my own country (Wales) isnt recognised anywhere in this spectacle. Wales isnt represented on the flag (the 'union jack') the athletes compete under while the anthem which greets medals winners is the anthem of another country (England). So think about it for a moment - any welsh athletes standing on the podium after winning a gold medal does so under a flag on which their own country isnt even represented and stands to an anthem which isnt even their own.  

There is of course one easy solution to this frankly unsulting state of affairs - Wales should enter its own team in the olympic games. Wales already competes in its own right in numerous international sports and with a degree of success - football and rugby being obvious examples - and Wales enters its own team in the 'mini olympics' that is the commonwealth games. So there are no good reasons why Wales shouldnt take its place in the olympic games alongside all the other world's nations, many of whom being much smaller than Wales and who actually have far less tradition of sporting achievements than Wales. So while a cursory glance at this tournament's medals table lists the likes of Vanuatu,Tuvalu and Tonga Wales - a country rich in sporting history and achievement - is alas nowhere to be seen.

I'm defintely with Plaid Leader Leanne Wood when she calls for 'Team Cymru' in Tokyo!

PS Glyn on the highly recommended National Left blog makes some timely observations on the outpouring of british chauvinism which seems to have been triggered by the Rio Olympics.


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