Thursday, March 31, 2005

Egyptian athlete cry foul

You wanna know why Egyptian sports are doing so bad, here's one of the reasons (below). A friend of mine showed me this email that was sent to him by a student athlete. I was actually very touched by it. I'm not sure if I should be publishing this, but to protect the privacy of the guy, I will withhold any information that might identify him.


I have had problems with my studies ever since I entered university. Its all because of sports. I'm a member of the Egyptian national team for [sport name withheld] and I represented Egypt on very high levels including the world championships last year. I have hopes and dreams of reaching the highest levels to get a sponser and earn some really good money out of this sport. Its something I love to do and its something that I have worked for in years. University has always been an obstacle. I feel like no one will ever understand that I didn't attend that lecture, section of quiz because I was a 1000 miles away representing Egypt else where, or because I was injured or through trials or overloaded. So I always have to make that choice. Either university or travel. I have chosen University on some ocassions and I have chosen training or traveling on other times and it has always worked out nice. I'm in 4th year this year and you can guess what situation I'm in. This year I had to train very hard to qualify for the next world championships in [tournament place withheld]. I have made a good job all year but I have missed 4 labs, 2 quizes with Dr. [Dr. name withheld] (that hurts I guess) and my friends in the project need me to work more (and that is something I belive they are totally right in). I also missed over 75% of my sections! I don't like to make excuses. I never like talking about it to everyone. Its not me giving excuses. I know that I have chosen this and I have to hold on in a way or another. I train about 5 hours a day. Sometimes its more, I have Olympic dreams and I want to accomplish them. Sometimes people acuse us of not getting medals at the olympics and that sports is not good in Egypt. Well I guess you can see part of the problem. May be the drs themselves watch TV and acuse Egyptian athletes of such down falls without even knowing that sometimes its in their own hands that they can fix part of the problem. Everyone has told me to go talk to the drs about my absense, But I don't know what to go and say. I feel that anything I say (no matter how important it may seem to me) will look so trivial infront of the docs. So I decided to check for the dr [name witheld]'s e-mail to talk to her for a start and then I came across your e-mail in the group staff contacts and for some reason I just decided to send you the e-mail of complaints. I'm not asking you for anything. Not at all. I just needed to talk to a dr and may be get his point of view. What do you think I should do at this point Dr. I see that my road is blocked. I don't know what to do. I really don't know. I wish you can please tell me anything. Any advice. Anything. Any hope. I really don't want to fail anything this year, I have done so well the past few years and I don't want to fall now. I love my parents and I'm doing all this for them. I don't want to upset them on the last year. The big one for them.

[picture withheld] (this is me on the left with the Egyptian shirt at the last world champs.)


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