Sanctus – The Sanctarian Olympic Committee today revealed the athletes who would be representing the country at its first IDU Olympic Games, with almost 100 individual athletes, and a number of teams, participating in scores of events across almost two dozen sports. Though the SOC has opted not to field an individual or team in every sport, this is the largest delegation the country has sent to any sporting competition before.
Culture Secretary Tony Shortridge said at the press conference at SOC HQ today that it was a priority of the new Ringrose government to ensure that Sanctaria began to engage on a more cultural level with other nations in the International Democratic Union, and that the investment of government funds into the nation’s Olympic programme was a “sound one”. He said he was also particularly keen to watch the basketball and baseball portions of the games, and said he hoped in the future other team sports like football would also be included. This reporter was present and took his comments on football to mean the government is considering entering the IDUFC for the first time too, though the Secretary took no questions to confirm this.
Sanctaria’s flag-bearer at the games has confirmed to be veteran tennis star Lee Faber, who will carry the White Deer flag proudly at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games when they’re held in Hanshui, Laeral later this year. Faber said he was “honoured” and “excited” to take part in the regional Olympics, and that he was confident his ankle injury from last year was fully healed. “Obviously we want the gold medals, all of us, but we’re honestly all just excited to be able to take part in more competitions, representing Sanctaria, and especially for those up-and-coming athletes to get some international recognition for all the work they put into their training”, Faber added.
While up-and-coming athletes are certainly well represented in the Sanctarian delegation, viewers of the Olympics will also recognise more well known sports stars, including the team of the Pontifex Patriots who will be participating in the baseball portion of the games. Coach James Dickson, also present at today’s press conference, said his team were “looking forward” to the games, which takes place during Sanctaria’s baseball off-season, and that “it’ll be excellent practice in an otherwise slow period to keep our skills honed, keep Sanctarians entertained, and see how we stack up to international baseball teams”.
KEVIN MARTINS, Sports Editor