Plaid Cymru deputy leader calls for Wales to compete in its own right at next Olympics
The deputy leader of Plaid Cymru has called for Wales to be allowed to compete as at the next Olympics a nation in its own right.
Rhun ap Iorwerth, the MS for Ynys Môn, said Wales should be represented at the Paris Olympiad in 2024 during a Facebook live session with constituents.
He was speaking after Welsh athletes scored a raft of successes at Tokyo 2020.
According to BBC Wales, the Covid-19 delayed Games saw 11 Welsh athletes contribute to eight medals in what was Wales’ second most successful Games after Rio 2016.
Caerphilly boxer Lauren Price secured Team GB’s final medal of the Games, winning the middleweight boxing title and becoming the first Welsh boxer to win Olympic gold.
Asked whether Wales should be allowed to compete at the Olympics, Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “Yes, absolutely – 100 per cent. We should be competing at the Olympics as a nation.
“There was an interesting assessment of this by Gareth Rhys Owen who is one of the BBC Wales sports presenters.
“He said we might end up getting fewer medals. A number of medal winners have won medals as part of teams – swimming team and that kind of thing.
“Maybe we wouldn’t get those team medals but you would have more Welsh athletes having the opportunity to compete at the Olympics.
“You would have that joint endeavour as a nation supporting Welsh athletes competing under the Welsh flag and, yes, I would dearly love to see that happening, as happens in the Commonwealth Games, in football and rugby and so many other sports. Yes, it would be nice at the next Olympics.
After her outstanding victory on the final day of the games, Price paid an emotional tribute to her grandparents, who supported her throughout her journey to become Wales first ever Olympic boxing champion.
The director of Sport Wales, Brian Davies, believes similar investments in time and money will be common among all successful athletes.
He told the Radio Wales Breakfast programme: “The emotional bit there, when you add all that up, it’s an incredible cocktail of striving and effort, but that could be true of any one of those medallists.
“Every single one of those names will have made some sacrifice, or their parents or their family or their support staff have, and that’s what makes it a fantastic achievement and gives the inspiration that really it’s all about getting people up off their couches and doing their own things.
“Even if they don’t win an Olympic medal or a Paralympic medal, they can still do their own personal podiums and I guess that’s what Lauren Price, Lauren Williams and the others will do.
“Encourage people to be active, to show that you can achieve, no matter where you are from.”
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