Ramadan sets extra test for Muslim athletes at London Olympics

May 22, 2012

(Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang rides with a camera on his helmet at Packer Park in Melbourne May 16, 2012. REUTERS/Mal Fairclough)

When Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang opted to postpone his Ramadan fast until after the London Games, the decision was all about going for Olympic gold.

Anything that might jeopardise the chance of a medal for the 24-year-old at his second Olympics had to be dealt with sensibly, he says. And going without food and drink between sunrise and sunset every day for four weeks is just too risky.

“We need to train, we need food, fluids, water,” he told Reuters during a training session at a velodrome in Melbourne with team mate Fatehah Mustapa, who will become the first Malaysian woman cyclist to ride at an Olympics.

“We’ve trained really, really hard … to strive for the gold medal, so we’re not going to waste it. This Olympics is really important for me and Fatehah. You think we’re going to sacrifice that?”

The coincidence of Ramadan this year with the London Olympics, which starts on July 27, a week into the month-long Muslim fast, has thrown up a dilemma for the estimated 3,000 Muslim athletes expected to compete.

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Whatever a person believes in is that person’s own perogativeand their right. It is therefore his own responsibility and up to him to deal with that himself. That is no anyone else’s job to do for him, and that person’s doctrines and practices do not apply to anyone else who do not subscribe to that theological system of belief, and should not effect others or be unduely imposed on them either,

Give it to one, you would have to give it to all. If one has it, all others would equally have the right to expect getting it also.

It is right that the London 2012 Olympics Games have gone ahead on the dates originally arranged. If this event was changed to avoid overlap with Ramadan, then by principle all other events would have to be scheduled according with all sorts of ‘special days’ of all other religions. The religious dogmas/doctrines however a minoirty would then have to overrule all else and thereby be imposed upon everyone else including the great majory of those who do not believe in them. This would be both unreasonable and impracticable.

Looking further along the line, there would not be much room to do anything becuase of religons getting in the way of everything and everyone else. Civil liberties and freedoms of humanity would become impeded and lost.

The Olympics during Ramadan should be used in a positive way as a learning opportunity for people to learn to be more flexible. It is no crime or great sin to be flexible when needed.

Let the Olympics be a great celebration of all humanity and the best of humanity as a rightfully free intelligent sentient living race.

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