Olympics 2012: I Wish Nigeria Were Different – Athletes Lament

Olympics 2012: I Wish Nigeria Were Different – Athletes Lament

Felix Ekpo yesterday wished that sports development and its administration were different in Nigeria.

The Weighlifter had just finished his event and waited at the venue before heading to the Games Village to rest and hope that he could place among the top three.

He finished second in his group and had to wait for the other group to finish their events before total results would be collated and winners known. He competed in the 77 KG category.

Ekpo is not the firebrand athlete and in no way criticised the sports ministry or Nigeria Olympic Committee. He did not frown at any official but just wished that things were done differently in Nigeria.

“You don’t come to the Olympic Games and say you want to win gold without preparing for it,” he said while chating with this reporter at the Weighlifting venue.

“We camped in Germany which was good but it takes more than camping to win gold at the Olympics. It’w a whole package that has to do with nutrition, training, exposure and competitions. When you compete regularly you meet the same people you will meet at the Olympics, you will learn more techniques and develope confidence.

You can’t win gold at the Olympics by hurriedly preparing and going for last minute camping. Here, at the Olympics, you hear athletes saying that they prepared for four or five years and you feel out of place, you know that only God can help you and with a feeling you strive that the best comes out of you. Someday, we will get it right in Nigeria.”

Wrestling coach Daniel Igali, an Olympic gold medalist for Canada has repeatedly told the authorities that talents were wasting in Nigeria and challenged the authorities that Nigeria could produce a gold medalist at the Olympics if the proper things were done. And he has always reminded all that Nigeria is far from doing the right things. Igali had to switch to Canada to win an Olympic gold medal, something that would have eluded him if he remained in Nigeria.

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