With one year to go until the London 2012 Olympic Games, the determination and excitement of athletes trying to qualify are increasing. Among them are two female beach volleyball players from Vanuatu, a group of islands some 1,700 kilometres off the coast of northern Australia. Linline Matauatu and Elwin Miller are unlikely Olympic athletes.
Until just a few years ago, making it to the Games would have been a mere dream for these two young mothers, but having received an Olympic Solidarity team grant to pay for equipment, travel and a professional coach, London is now a real possibility.
The two athletes will visit the British capital this August for a beach volleyball tournament as part of the “London Prepares” Series, sport events that bring together top athletes from around the world and give the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) the chance to check crucial aspects of its operations before the Games. However, Linline and Elwin will only know next year if they will qualify for London 2012 and if their Olympic dream can become a reality.
About Olympic Solidarity
Olympic Solidarity is the body that ensures that athletes with talent, regardless of their financial status, have an equal chance of reaching the Olympic Games and succeeding in the Olympic arena. It is responsible for administering and managing the National Olympic Committees’ share of the revenue from the sale of broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games. Working in particular with the most disadvantaged National Olympic Committees and their Continental Associations, Olympic Solidarity uses this money to develop a range of assistance programmes. Within its total budget, USD 61 million is earmarked to provide support to athletes for the 2009-2012 Olympic Solidarity quadrennial period.
Learn more about the current Olympic Solidarity Programme