Rio Olympics: The Ruth Jebet Factor

Let me bring you up to speed: Ruth Jebet is a Kenyan-born athlete who won a gold medal for Bahrain at the ongoing Olympic games in Rio. The contention is,why couldn’t she just have been patriotic to her home country? Or doesn’t patriotism bring “enough” food to the table? 

Most of us are divided on this issue: on one hand we feel that since she’s Kenyan,she should have represented us and stayed “true” to us. On the other hand,some argue she had to come first and make a move that would make her more money for her family.

I believe both groups speak from a selfish point of view;

1)We are only raising this issue of athletes representing richer nations after they win. Hence,we feel entitled to what “should have been ours”

2)We assume she made the decision to run for Bahrain because of the hefty pay that comes with representing such a nation. Who is to tell if the decision was born out of desire to experience a different athletics system other than our own flawed policies?

The winner of the 3,000 metres steeplechase has received her fair share of criticism and much of it is theory-based. She is the only one who knows why she did it. 

Benefits of her running for a wealthy country include:

1)Hefty pay(that is expected)

2)Citizenship of the said country

3)Good living conditions

But then again,the downside to it is just as worse:

1)Forever being labeled an outsider. At the end of the day,the whole world(Bahrain included),still remember she is Kenyan.

2)Fragility of her contract. If she didn’t perform,i doubt she would be accommodated much longer. Her job is to win.

 In my view,it must have been a really tough call to make. She gambled a lot,maybe it will pay off. At the end of the day,her patriotism is to herself and she’s the only one who knows why she did what she did. 

I have not come across any interview in which she stated she did it for the money and luxuries,have you? What’s your take on the issue?


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