Gov’t had no influence over design of Olympic uniform, says GOA President
- slams those critical of athletes
President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), K.A. Juman-Yassin, in a passionate address on Thursday re-emphasised that the Government of Guyana/Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport did not influence the design of the country’s Olympic uniform, which was the centre of much public discourse after the opening ceremony in Tokyo last month.
“The Ministry or Mr. [Charles] Ramson Jr. or the Government, neither of them were involved in the uniform, neither of them made any contribution towards the colour or design of the uniform,” the GOA asserted.
Acknowledging that he can accept constructive criticisms over the uniform, Yassin said he said was appalled over comments on social media, including a particular one that stated: “athletes would lose because of the uniform and its presentation.”
“I deprecate that statement,” Yassin declared.
“I acknowledge conservative comments and questions as to the uniform, I can appreciate that persons may want to see all the national colours be part of the uniform. I apologize to those persons as regards their disappointment and I can say in the future we will take more cognisance of the colours.”
“To those persons who criticise because they did not see their party colours or felt that the uniform was in support of the Government, or whose comments were divisive and not helpful to heal the political and perceived racial problems in Guyana, I offer no apology to them,” the GOA head vehemently expressed.
The GOA President highlighted that uniforms had other colours in the past, but there was little fuss created over the matter. However, he highlighted that the GOA would consider having a competition to select uniforms in the future.
Yassin indicated the buck stops at him with regards to the choice of uniforms, since it was a GOA council decision to use such a design.
In the height of the social media drama over the uniforms, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., had indicated his Ministry had no involvement in the design.
In a public post, the Minister asked: “Are we really going to allow our petty political allegiance to diminish their deserving moment of glorious achievement? Are we that selfish? We must not be and we must never be. There are times to fight and there are times to unite. Internally we may have our differences, but on the world stage we must always remember “We Are One Guyana”. Never forget that!”
Guyana was represented by seven athletes at this Olympics, namely boxer Keevin Allicock, Table Tennis player Chelsea Edghill, sprinters Jasmine Abrams, Aliyah Abrams and Emanuel Archibald, and swimmers Andrew Fowler and Aleka Persaud.