Avoid social media during competitions, athletes told

Leaders have advised to restrain from negative comments on social media at  any competition to avoid pressure and distorting their minds.

National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) president Paul Tergat said that the concluded Olympic Games in Tokyo were the most difficult in any athlete’s career.

He said after training for the 2020 calendar, they were postponed to 2021 and he understands especially for the athletes, it must have been a very difficult time to be able to train, spend so much of their resources and eventually the Olympics were canceled.

“Even in 2021, we did not know that such games would be held. As athletes, you worked under difficult circumstances but you were able to come back, I congratulate all of you for your resilience, determination and the focus to carry the aspirations of all of us as a nation,” said Tergat.

However he said that the negative comments on social media did not distract them much.

“Many people who follow social media, we were in Tokyo and for the first time, this social media, if I was an athlete and if I could have known what was going to come I would have asked you before we leave to suspend your accounts until we come back. It was very nasty the way things were coming from back home. The people who are supposed to be backing you are the same people bashing and pulling you down,” said the former world cross country champion.

He said that as an athlete, they need that support, calmness and peace but this was not the thing when you can only read negative comments yet the games were not yet over.

“For those who are working in disciplined forces, we say that the war is not over until it is over. So we were still in the campaign yet no one was giving us hope,” he added.

Athletics Kenya president Jack Tuwei joined the bandwagon of blaming social media users for the bad influence.

He said that when they started the games, there was too much pressure, meaning Kenyans want more from athletes by starting with a win and ending with a win.

“Remember this is a competition. We need to change the approach like start with winning, win something in the middle and win at the end to make Kenyans happy all the time. But it is not as easy as people may think,” said Tuwei.

He added that everybody who goes to the competition has one objective of winning, which is not easy the way people think.

“Because we have set that standard of winning, we want to do more on winnings. I think as athletes, we need to learn how to manage pressure? And one of the best ways to manage pressure is to keep off social media especially when you are competing or when you are just about to compete. Avoid social media to run away from negative people.”

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