Ghanaians who have arrived in London for the 2012 Olympics are not diiscussing the games which officially open today but caught by grief of the sudden death last Tuesday of the President of the Republic, John Evans Atta Mills.
From the Kotoka International Airport to Heathrow in London, Ghanaians seen in groups and in sombre mood could be heard discussing and expressing shock at the passing of the President.
That was the mood when on arrival at Heathrow Airport a group of Ghanaian sports fans who said they were travelling on the ticket of African Origin Travels and Sports Tourism on sighting me accosted me to find out what happened to the President.Even while in flight on the Virgin Atlantic aircraft that left Accra last Wednesday for London carrying virtually Olympic Games enthusiasts, most of the Ghanaian passengers on board and other nationals hardly talked about any subject different from the predicament that has befallen the nation.
They believed, as a journalist, I would be better placed to know about what must have caused the sudden death of the President instead of the varied rumours that had preceded the death and thereafter, but frankly I could not be of much help, except to repeat what officially had been told the nation.
But apparently more distraught are members of the Ghana Olympic team. Some
officials that I have spoken to on phone so far have only lamented the President’s death and felt it should not have happened at this time.
Ghana’s chef de mission and second vice-president of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), Nii Adote Din Barima I, sounded depressed when I spoke to him on phone.
The President of the GOC, Prof Dodoo, a prodigee of the late President, could not be reached, but sources close to him said he could not believe the news when he first heard it and had been downcast since it was confirmed.
Similar sources indicated that the president of the Ghana Amateur Boxing Federation, Mr Ray Quarcoo, who had himself recently been hospitalised in a London hospital, expressed his sorrow at the sad event.
He, however, expressed the hope that the four Ghanaian boxers would excel for this year’s Olympics to be dedicated to the late President who was a staunsh sportsman and sports administrator.
Aside from the four boxers, Ghana is being represented by three track and field athletes, one judoist and one weightlifter to make a total of only nine athletes who will defending the country when the 2012 London Olympics Games get underway.