Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Monday, March 5, 2012

Iraqi Oarsmen's Problems Training For Olympic Rowing

After reading an article on the French Rue 89 Sport, HTBS’s Hélène Rémond got inspired to writes about the problems the oarsmen in Iraq are facing for this summer Olympics:

How do Olympic rowers in a country like Iraq train to qualify for the 2012 Games in London?

A serialized video published online enable to grasp the difficulties the Iraqi oarsmen meet every day to try to achieve their aim: the best training for the next Olympic Games that will be held in London this summer. Called Bagdad Galère (there is a pun here: Galère meaning “hardship” in French but also “galley”), the 3rd episode of the video has just been published. After years of chaos, oarsmen Haider, Ahmed, and Hamza talk about their daily training at the rowing center in Haifa, where they sometimes struggle since they have no electric fans when it is 50°C under the sun, or where power cuts are common... There are numerous constraints, ruined material and postponed training because of risks of attacks... Whereas rowing is not well known in Iraq, it arouses the curiosity of strollers on the Tiger banks. The Iraqi rowers show their enthusiasm and underline rowing offers them a better life.

You can read a comprehensive article in French on Rue 89 Sport. The series has its Facebook Profile Bagdad Galère and you can support the project, which was launched by co-director Anne-Sophie Le Mauff, via KissKissBankBank with funding so that the filming can continue. A blog is also planned to give internets a comprehensive view of the Iraqi adventure towards the qualification for London 2012.

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