Minister D. Zeogar Wilson is currently in Tokyo supporting the 2020 Liberia Olympic Team. Wilson began his role as Minister of Youth and Sports in 2018. He is the first Youth and Sports Minister from the CDC administration and a former athlete himself. In fact, Wilson proudly shared that he played on the National Football team alongside Liberia’s current president, HE George Weah. Go Team Liberia met with the minister to discuss his experience in Japan and plans for sports development in Liberia.
We gathered at the Liberian Embassy in Tokyo, where First Secretary Consul Josephine Alade and Second Secretary Vice Consul Tarsha Jackson welcomed us into the tall coral building. Below are excerpts from the meeting.
Written responses have been edited for brevity.
How has your experience been at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, any highlights or anything that has really stood out to you?
Well, I think the protocol, because of COVID is something that is noticeable and it’s understandable why that is ongoing. From what I see, given the pandemic and the preparation, had it not been a pandemic, I think Japan would have actually light up because the games are going well. I think they’ve prepared sufficiently. Unfortunately they’re not able to display a lot of what they put in there, but just what they did during the Opening Ceremony was an experience.
Is there anything here that has inspired you during your visit, that you’d like to take back to Liberia?
I think their organization around the protocol, especially at the airport, the port of entry is great. I’m a member of the Special Presidential Advisory Committee on COVID in Liberia and a think during our next meeting, I will share some of my experience because the port of entrance is very important. What I see at that port of entry, we may not match, their system and their technology, but at least we should be able to do more to help prevent the spread of the Pandemic. That’s something I’ll take back home.
Pivoting back to sports in Liberia, how do you feel about the future of Liberian sports?
I feel great because there have been a lot of transformation on the sporting side in Liberia, since this government came to beam. For instance, Liberia participated for the first time in the Special Olympics. Special Olympics are meant for people with disabilities. And we took four athletes and brought back five medals.
Today, our football is transforming. We have, today, a fully functional female league. We have an under-15 league, now, in Liberia. Football is developing at that level. We come to basketball as well. Since we had a new leadership Basketball is now coming back to where it used to be as well. Our various teams are participating. In fact, the Paralympic Team is expected here next week. We have our amputee will be going to competition as well.
There is this Invincible Park that is being constructed. That will be a recreational center for young people as well. There’s also plans to have a whole recreation center behind the barracks.
Watch complete interview below.