Got your sun hats? Your sun block? What about that crazy attitude? Then here we go on the Road to Rio! This year the Olympics makes its way to the sandy beaches of Rio de Janeiro where you get your chance to mingle with the Cariocas. Whether you are catching a plane to the event or wolfing down some snacks in front of the TV, keep your fingers crossed for our Lebanese athletes who made it all the way to compete in the Summer Olympics!
With just a few days away till the big day, let us take a moment to get to know who the nine athletes are that stood tall against all the rest.
First up, in the Track & Field category, put your hands together for Chirine Njeim who found herself in the Women’s Marathon competing to run for that medal. Pride is gushing out of our Lebanese hearts when she was announced to be the first woman in Lebanon’s history to be given an automatic qualifier in this category.
Ahmad Hazer who qualified to run in the 110m Hurdles where his stamina is put to the test to avoid those pesky obstacles. Hazer continues to surprise us with his many record-breaking sprints and is, without a doubt, titled the greatest sprinter in Lebanon. Keep Running Hazer!
Up next, one of our athletes excels in a Japanese art of fighting. Who knew we had this much talent? Nacif Elias defends what he can in the art of Judo to bring his opponents to their knees. Nacif was even ranked in the Top 22 of Judokas in the World Rankings of May 2016! Way to go!
Bring on the focus! Bring on the precision! That’s what it takes to be a fencer. Mona Shaito continues to impress us with her sword fighting skills and this year moves up to compete in the Women’s Foil as one of the two highest-rank fencers of Asia.
Hold your breath, because two of our athletes take the Olympic pool in their swim to victory. Anthony Barbar who qualified to take part in the Men’s 50m Freestyle swimming race while his fellow athlete, Gabriella Doueihy competes in the Women’s 400m Freestyle race.
Inhale. Exhale. Pull the trigger. Ray Bassil moves up in the Shooting category to attempt to pull the trigger for the gold in the Women’s Trap. Ray managed to receive Silver and Gold medals in previous competitions, keeping our heads held high for this athlete. Stay focused, stay alert!
Back and forth the ping pong ball goes. Mariana Sahakian can continue to send sharp serves to her opponents in the Women’s Singles division of Table Tennis. Being ranked as the highest table tennis player coming from West Asia, we raise our paddles to you!
Taking the tides, Richard Merjan paddles in the Canoe Slalom competition in the Men’s single division. With strength at his side, only the relentless current stands in the way to Richard’s victory. Our athlete was the first in the country to qualify for this category.
On Friday, August 5th the curtains to the Olympics open and our support will never wither! Keep your head high Lebanon as our victors will return to us with what they deserve! Raise your voices, honk your horns, and show the athletes that they will be victors no matter what!