Mabrouk to the Lebanese Armenian team!
The 9th Pan-Homenetmen games, which had brought together 650 athletes from 17 countries, concluded yesterday, Aug. 3, with the Homenetmen of Lebanon winning the overall title.
Homenetmen Lebanon secured the overall title by winning the chess, ping-pong, and track and field competitions; securing second place in the girls’ basketball tournament; and winning third place in soccer, boys’ basketball, and women’s basketball. [Armenian Weekly]
Lebanese Maxime Chaya completed yet another challenge yesterday by rowing the Indian ocean in 57 days 19 hours 20 minutes and 52 seconds, a new world record.
Check out more pictures [Here].
Gotta love the nicknames! I can’t believe I missed the event as I’ve been wanting to go since last year.
Joumana Seif is a known French-Lebanese Orthodontist living in Geneva but more importantly she was Herve Le Gallou’s ex-girlfriend and one of the closest people to the French Base Jumper who died almost a year ago while attempting to jump off a cliff at Obiou in the French Alps. Le Gallou was a very popular and highly esteemed base jumper and a veteran of thousands of jumps. He was one of the two daredevils to jump off Burj Khalifa’s 155th floor back in 2008 undetected.
Here’s what Joumana told the New York Times about Herve one year after his unfortunate accident:
For Joumana Seif, Le Gallou’s former girlfriend, however, the accident could not be dismissed so easily. Seif, an elegant, 36-year-old orthodontist of French and Lebanese origin, lives in Geneva. She met Le Gallou through base jumping, and beginning in 2001, they had what she describes as an “intense” relationship. They split up in 2005 but remained close friends. When Le Gallou died, Seif organized several events in his memory, including a cremation in Grenoble, a Catholic Mass in Paris and a base-jumping memorial at his favorite spot at Cirque d’Archiane, in the Alps.
I spent two days with Seif in Paris last fall. As we talked about Le Gallou — Seif often pausing as she wept — she told me that two things bothered her about the accident. The first centered on the question of character. Le Gallou, she said, was a conservative base jumper. (This may appear a contradiction in terms, but as many of his friends confirmed recently, Le Gallou rarely pressed beyond his limits. Mavericks do not survive 18 years in a sport like base.) It seemed implausible to Seif that Le Gallou would have tried a risky line on his flight from Obiou. If he’d lost good finesse, she thinks he would have pulled above the plateau and lived to jump another day. To her, there was only one root cause for the accident: equipment trouble. The fact that his parachute was deployed when he crashed indicated some kind of delay in finding the handle for his pilot chute, the small canopy that precedes the larger parachute. (Failing to find the chute’s handle is known as a No Pull Find.) Once Le Gallou realized he was in trouble, Seif believes he lost precious fractions of seconds trying to deploy his pilot chute. By the time he did, it was too late.
Her second concern was Le Gallou’s helmet camera. It was his habit to record jumps. On the day he died, he wore a ContourHD camera attached to a rugby helmet. Grieving and searching for answers, Seif hunted feverishly for the device. But after the accident, the Contour camera was nowhere to be found. It was not among the personal effects collected by the police. Seif says she searched the crash site six times with a metal detector but found nothing.
None of Le Gallou’s fellow jumpers had an explanation for what happened to the device. Seif recalled that when she asked about the camera some days after the crash, one of the jumpers told her it was useless to look for it. “‘Maybe it’s in a million pieces,” he said. “Maybe a marmot took it.’ ”
Some weeks after the accident, however, the camera was discovered by the police 40 meters uphill from the crash site, near some flowers Seif had left. It seemed clear to her, though she had no proof, that the camera had later been moved or replaced. The police, who ruled Le Gallou’s death an accident, eventually found the HD card but said it was unreadable.
Seif remained dogged in her pursuit of what happened; she says she recently found a memory card at the site that she believes is Le Gallou’s. She is trying to retrieve the images from it. She contends there is “omertà” about a gear problem that may have led to Le Gallou’s accident. When I asked her why she thinks so, she produced a folder of documents that she gathered about the case. She also talked of her “intuition.”
Picture of Joumana Seif – Source
سحب الدنماركي مايكل شلايخت شاحنة بوزن 18 طناً لمسافة 25 متراً في منطقة انطلياس وذلك ضمن بطولة القارات لأقوى رجل
I tried googling the name LBCI mentioned as the World’s Strongest man but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I also went through the list of winners of the strongest man competition and couldn’t find a Michael.
Last Year’s Strongest Man is Žydrūnas Savickas, known as Big Z, and he’s coming to Lebanon on the 28th of August 2013 for the International Strongman Challenge in Beirut.
The National Team is finally back to Lebanon and Coach Ghassan Sarkis held a press conference where he asked the Lebanese Federation on behalf of the Players to resign immediately. Sarkis “addressed the Federation’s President Robert Abou Abdallah saying: “I kindly tell you that you do not know how to run this game.”
This proves the points I raised earlier this week, that the Federation failed miserably and should resign immediately.
Let’s hope they do it ASAP and things go back to normal knowing that we have a very promising season next year.
Here’s the letter that was sent to the Lebanese Basketball Federation by the FIBA explaining the reasons behind the suspension:
Dear Mr. President,
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
We acknowledge receipt of the documents and information requested in our email of 16 July 2013 following your request to reconsider the suspension of your federation. This information undoubtedly allows us to shed more light on the current situation in Lebanon. Thank you for your cooperation in submitting this information promptly.
At the outset, we wish to reiterate that the suspension of your federation has not been a decision taken hastily by FIBA. It was indeed approved by the FIBA Central Board due to events of the utmost gravity whereby one club has been able, with external political support, to disrupt entirely the smooth running of the Lebanese National Championship. It has also been able to obtain a decision by a state civil court cancelling technical and sporting decisions taken by your federation.
This scenario represents without any doubt the most serious violation of the FIBA General Statutes and all principles under which the Olympic sports movement is founded. Despite the financial impact or political intersts that sport generate, it is clear that it must remain at all costs a competition whereby merit, integrity and fair play prevail.
This matter demonstrates a profound dysfunction of the Lebanese Basketball Federation since one club alone has been able to stop your championship. In complete violation of the FIBA General Statutes and the obligations of all national member federations of FIBA, your federation was not and still is not properly armed to face political interferences and solve sporting disputes within its own structures.
The FIBA Central Board was therefore of the firm belief that the Lebanese Basketball family must now assume the consequences of its organizational deficiencies and actions. For as long as key governance principles are not implemented in the statutes of your federation and in the latter’s policies and managament, and approved/agreed to by all stakeholders it shall not be readmitted with full rights with FIBA and be allowed to participate in the most important international basketball competitions.
The letter is very clear and the reasons for the suspension are two:
- One club has been able, with external political support, to disrupt entirely the smooth running of the Lebanese National Championship.
- The Federation was not and still is not properly armed to face political interferences and solve sporting disputes within its own structures.
I think at this point, the real problem is not the suspension itself but the way the Lebanese Federation and concerned teams dealt with the FIBA warnings, and the way a lot of fans are reacting to this decision by blaming either Amchit or the Federation. Having said that, I recommend that everyone re-reads the statement issued by FIBA and understand that both the team and the federation are the problem, but the one to get the bigger blame is always the person in charge and that’s the Federation in that case.
There’s nothing political about it, and it saddens me to read some of the comments on the various Lebanese Basketball Facebook pages, but the fact that one team was able to disrupt the whole season is a clear proof the current Federation was unable to assume its responsibilities (Without mentioning the financial scandal). Lebanon is not the only country where political parties try to influence sports teams or invest money in sports to gain popularity, but that’s where the Federation plays its role in keeping the sport and the teams away from such considerations. President Choueiri succeeded in doing that in tougher days and with Sagesse Team against all odds, not because he poured money or was politically powerful but because he was able to find a compromise between all parties while focusing on improving the sport and helping Lebanon win international tournaments and even qualify for the World Cup.
Unfortunately though, We will never have someone like Choueiri again, which is why it’s time to elect a new federation and come up with new bylaws that prevent incidents like the ones that happened this year and the years before. In order to make that happen, all teams should sit down, propose new ideas and figure a way out of this mess once and for all. I hear some teams are considering launching the Super League but I don’t have a lot of details on it yet.
I’ve already posted several times on how politics should be kept away from sports in Lebanon, and even proposed some ideas to make this happen.
VDL (100.5): FIBA has reportedly taken a decision to suspend for four year’s the Lebanese national basketball team’s participation at international tournaments.
The Lebanese Federation did not confirm or react to this decision but there’s no denying that we deserve this ban. The Lebanese Federation is a disgrace and needs to resign immediately specially after the flagrant financial scandal. I only feel bad for the players and the fans but I am almost sure we can reduce or remove this suspension once we have a decent federation and proper regulations to keep politics away from the sport.