Opinion: Don’t hold your breath

POSTED: 07/11/11 1:00 PM

Some people in Curacao are real troopers. What other way does one describe a group that believes that because a major international organization does not state specifically that it does not presume that more countries won’t join that you have a hope they’ll bend an 18 year rule.

What we’re talking about is the continued hope of some in Willemstad and even here in the friendly country that a non-independent country will be recognized by the International Olympic Committee. However there’s a little rule in the Olympic Charter that says this is not possible and the IOC Board has already said no. So the question really could be asked: if that rule already tells you have no chance, why force the issue? What good will taking the matter to a tribunal or having support letters do?

The long and short is  that no one should hold their breath that even though the IOC has 26 non independent states pounding down their door, they’re not letting in any new club members. So, good advice dictates that one should not hold their breath on this one.

What is interesting is that the troopers in Willemstad have some supporters here in St. Maarten. Education Minister Rhoda Arrindell signed the letter herself and even said she hoped the favor would be returned in due time. That reciprocity is also something that no one should hold their breath because it’s just not likely that Curacao will succeed.

A semi-irony in all this is that the idea of Dutch citizens trying out for the Dutch team or representing the Caribbean part of the Kingdom by hooking up with the Arubans is off the table for the troopers in Curacao even the IOC has ruled they should fall under the Netherlands. It would be interesting to hear what the troopers here think is the way going forward on that kind of cooperation.

Let’s face it though as of recently we’re out of the club house, and the only way back in is the “I” word: Independence. But is creating opportunities for sports men and women really enough to press for independence? The no brainer answer is no, especially not when there’s an opportunity within current structures.

The one wind we’d puff into the trooper’s sails is that the IOC has maintained a stance that they don’t get involved in a country’s politics when they inspect as a potential host country for the games. Some might think that the IOC overstepped that bound when they crafted the rule that non-independent states could not be members, because really one is making a political choice when they go from one constitutional structure to another. That may be stretching it, but since the troopers want to try, might as well help them a long just a bit.

The good news in this though is that the athletes from the former Netherlands Antilles will get one last shot in 2012 in London under the IOC’s flag as the NAOC winds down and tasks its last gasp as one of the only remaining vestiges of a country that died almost two years before the flames were lit at London’s opening ceremony.

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