Athletes who won medals at the just concluded London 2012 Paralympics Games may go down in history as the most rewarded athletes ever in the history of Team Nigeria’s participation in major games and championships.
The team arrived Nigeria Tuesday from London where it won a total of 13 medals made up of six gold, five silver and two bronze medals.
The athletes are expected to arrive Abuja tomorrow for a reception with President Goodluck Jonathan; the reception is being organized by the Honourable Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.
Before the Abuja reception, Mallam Abdullahi ensured that the athletes were hosted at the Nigerian House in London.
Apart from the warm reception they were given in London, they also got cash prizes.
Gold medallists were given $7,500, silver medallist $5000, and bronze medallist $2000.
President Jonathan is expected to announce another set of cash prizes for the medallists after hosting them on Saturday.
Sources close to the National Sports Commission (NSC) reveals that gold medallists may be conferred with the Member of the Niger (MON) award.
Meanwhile double Olympics medallists,chief Falilat Ogunkoya has praised Mallam Abdullahi for his kind gesture,
“The Minister has done well by rewarding excellent performances. They are gold medallists and world record holders, so it is good that we are honouring them with cash incentives, money to athletes is like engine to a car, a car well serviced with good engine oil will serve the owners well, so Mallam Abdullahi’s gesture will spur the athletes to do well for the country in future games and championships and athletes that are not beneficiaries in this package will be motivated to do well in future” said Ogunkoya.
The African record holder also said Mallam Abdullahi has set a new record in Nigerian sports by this achievement,
“ This is the first time in the history of sports that athletes will be honoured twice, the Minister has set a new record, we pray God will give him the grace to do more for our sports” said Ogunkoya.