Atlanta, then Athens
Three Egyptian athletes have won a grant to train in
Atlanta in preparation for the Olympic Games in Athens. Inas Mazhar
Sports, business and politics were all brought together for the
benefit of Egyptians going to Athens.
The Apache Corporation and Oriental Weavers Egypt are the co-sponsors
of three Egyptian Olympic athletes who will train at the Dekalb
International Training Centre (DITC) in Atlanta, Georgia to prepare for
their big summer. The announcement was made by the President of the
Egyptian Olympic Committee (NOC) Mounir Sabet and the US Ambassador to
Egypt David Welch.
Swimmer Salma Zenhoum and sprinters Amr Seoud and Ahmed Abdel-Ati
have been selected by their federations to join the centre. "They have
already gone to Atlanta and started training," NOC General Director
Ahmed Enan said. "The federations selected the players according to
their results and because they qualified for the Olympic Games,"
explaining that no players from cycling or tennis, the other two sports
included in the training centre, were selected "simply because nobody
qualified for the Olympics".
Sabet said he was happy to see three Egyptians reach the Olympics and
have a chance to train in such a famed centre as the DITC. "It is
committed to training the best Olympic athletes from around the world to
assist in their pursuit of excellence," Sabet said.
The Apache Corporation, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary,
is a large oil and gas firm with core operations in the US, Canada, the
United Kingdom, the North Sea, Egypt and Western Australia. Its shares
are traded in the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ under the
symbol APA. Oriental Weavers Egypt owns a factory based in Atlanta.
The DITC is a programme belonging to the Atlanta-based international
organisation Forging New Tomorrows Inc in partnership with Dekalb
County, Georgia. By design of co- Chair Ambassador Andrew Young and co-
Chair Marc Daniel Gutekunst, the DITC is unique in that it is the only
training facility of its kind providing athletes selected by NOCs from
around the world not only to train but to enjoy a comprehensive
education package as well.
"We are glad that our athletes will be provided the opportunity to
compete and represent their country of origin at national and
international meets while gaining a meaningful education," Enan
DITC's mission is twofold: to provide first class training to enable
participating athletes to compete in the US and internationally, while
furthering their education to graduate with either a high school,
vocational or a university degree. Secondly, the DITC promotes peace and
reconciliation and foster exchanges between people and nations, while
respecting the socio-cultural and religious identity of each and every
athlete in training at the DITC.
The DITC was officially inaugurated on 6 May 2002. Athletes readying
for Athens will be in residency for pre-Olympic training. In 2004, a new
training/education cycle will begin and extend through the Beijing 2008
According to the Dekalb board representatives at a meeting in Egypt,
the goal of the DITC is to provide world class coaching staff and to
encourage athletes from all walks of life and with different levels of
talent to strive towards attaining their goals in both academic and
athletic endeavours. "It is the commitment of the DITC staff to provide
each individual that joins our programme the feeling of personal success
and importance," said Dekalb CEO Veron Jones.
DITC programmes consist of utilising the tools of sport medicine as
well as practical experience gained through years of coaching and
individualising programmes designed to optimise strength, speed and