After a pandemic-induced delay, the Olympic Games return this summer, and Sierra Leone is poised to participate alongside 205 other nations.

The Games kick off in Paris on Friday, July 26th, 2024, with football (soccer) and Rugby Sevens leading the charge. Over the following 17 days, the world will witness the pinnacle of athletic competition culminating in 13 gold medal events on Sunday, August 11th.

Sierra Leone will benefit from the Olympic Qualification Universality Places program. This initiative provides a lifeline for athletes from nations with historically smaller delegations. Universality Places aim to increase diversity among participating countries across various sports.

While some countries might send dozens or even hundreds of athletes, others, like Sierra Leone, would have very few if solely relying on traditional qualification methods. The Tripartite Commission, composed of representatives from the International Olympic Committee, National Olympic Committees, and Summer Olympic Sports Federations, allocates these quotas to eligible National Olympic Committees.

Sierra Leone qualifies due to its average participation of eight athletes or less in individual sports at the past two Olympics (Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020).

The National Olympic Committee of Sierra Leone can now request athlete quotas from the Commission for specific sports. However, athletes must still meet technical criteria set by their respective International Sports Federations.

The Commission will then analyze all requests considering factors like global representation, athlete eligibility and skill level, gender and continental balance, and preferences of National Olympic Committees and International Sports Federations.

The Paris Games will culminate in a traditional closing ceremony, officially bringing the event to a close in the French capital.

Sierra Leone’s participation in the Olympics is a significant achievement, and with the Universality Places program, the country has a chance to showcase its athletic talent on the world stage.