Haley Nemra has never been in the Marshall Islands but her father is Marshallese and she has been granted citizenship by the Marshall Islands. Haley represented the Marshall Islands in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and other events. Haley just represented the Marshall Islands again, in the Pacific Games in New Caledonia (see as example http://www.usfd…20110901200ohy. Haley did not medal at New Caledonia. Haley is apparently being positioned to represent the Marshall Islands again at the 2012 London Olympics.
Haley is clearly a nice young lady whose parents are, I am sure, justifiably proud of. Haley has, thanks to her Marshallese heritage, traveled to and participated in several top level international athletic competitions and has wonderful Olympic and other memories she will cherish forever. She has photos, mementos, and wonderful stories to share with her parents, siblings and friends, and I am sure eventually with a loving husband and children.
So, why is your National Olympic Committee and more specifically, your Athletics Federation (current President per Web, is Rais Aho), so fixated, so determined to send Marshallese track athletes from anywhere but the Marshall Islands to international competitions?
Haley has her memories for a life time; why not start working with a couple of Marshallese young people who actually live in the Marshall Islands to run in the London Olympics in 2012? Why not let Marshallese young people who live in the Marshall Islands experience this joy, this wondrous event, that they can they share with â€“ and inspire â€“ others in your homeland?
I have commented on this before and I promise I will not comment on again.
Perhaps if enough Marshallese directly speak to Mr. Aho about this, he will have a change of heart and agree it is time to give a couple of Marshallese who live in the Marshall Islands a chance to have the Olympic experience.
“I hope the signing of the LUA (Land Use Agreement) allows the Government of the Marshall Islands more time to focus on the biggest issues it faces – how to raise the level of education and health of the Marshallese people and how to create an economy that will be stable after direct US funding ends in 2023.”
US Ambassador to the Marshall Islands Martha Campbell, as quoted by MI Journal, 13 May 2011, pg 4
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