Olympic Solidarity athletes on a roll in London
The Olympic Games are about much more than medal tables. It is the many stories about personally overcoming things and achievements in the pursuit of Olympic dreams that make the magic of the Games.
Nineteen-year-old Maziah Mahusin is one of the Olympic Solidarity scholarship holders. The runner from Brunei Darussalam has become the first woman from her country to participate at an Olympic Games. Brunei Darussalam is among three delegations in London that have included female athletes for the first time in Olympic history. Maziah carried the flag for her country at the Opening Ceremony and went on to obtain a national record of 59.28 seconds in her Olympic debut in the 400m. This meant place 41 out of 45 in the result list, which is secondary though if one acknowledges the context of her personal achievement. Earlier this year Maziah, who had also participated in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, said: “I want to make history for my country Brunei for being the first female athlete to represent my country at the Olympics. I am looking forward to setting my new record for my personal best and also for Brunei.” She did not fall short of her promise.
On the podium
When it comes to places on the podium, Olympic Solidarity scholarship holders have obtained 25 medals in total at the half-way point of the London 2012 Games. They include Cameron Van Der Burgh, who won the men’s 100m breaststroke in a new world-record time, becoming the first male swimmer from South Africa to earn an individual Olympic swimming gold medal. Aron Szilagyi from Hungary won the men’s individual sabre fencing competition becoming, at 22, the youngest winner in this event for 116 years – since Ioannis Georgiadis of Greece won in 1896. There are many more fascinating stories out there.
About the scholarships for London 2012
For London 2012, Olympic Solidarity scholarships were given to 1,264 athletes from 171 NOCs in 21 sports to help them in their preparation and qualification. Of those, 645 scholarship holders are expected to compete in London. The scheme includes access to top-class training facilities and coaches at home or abroad; medical assistance; board and lodging costs; and a fixed subsidy to enable the athletes to compete in Olympic qualification events. Scholarship holders are nominated by their NOC and scholarships are granted by Olympic Solidarity to athletes according to their technical level and need.
About Olympic Solidarity
Olympic Solidarity is the body that administers and manages the National Olympic Committees (NOCs)’ share of the revenue from the sale of broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games. It aims to ensure that athletes with talent, from around the world, have an even chance of succeeding in their Olympic dream and works in particular with the most needy NOCs and their Continental Associations. The funds are used to develop assistance programmes in various areas.
Broadcast quality footage of Olympic Solidarity athletes and of Maziah Mahusin (see London 2012: A historic step towards gender equality) is available free-of-charge here.