A Nigerian weightlifter, after finishing 8th in her group, has decided to boycott the Olympics until things change for better.
Looking at the general performance of the Nigerian team at the Olympics and how badly prepared Nigerian athletes were, it’s only enough to admit that the Nigerian sports sector needs some sort of reform.
Mariam Hassan, who was the only Nigerian weightlifter at the Olympics couldn’t be more disappointed after facing competitors who were better trained with quality equipment.
According to her, it’s useless to compete at the Olympics without winning any medal. She believes Nigerian athletes, when given access to quality training and proper sponsorship, are capable of competing with the best athletes in the world.
She says the most painful part is how the athletes are expected to ‘miraculously’ win gold medals after receiving little support from the Nigerian government.
Mariam has decided to only represent Nigeria in forthcoming Olympics on the condition that better training facilities are provided and things in the sporting sector generally change for the better. One can only imagine how these athletes feel, considering the fact that many of them made it as far as the semi finals of their categories.
This year’s Olympics should serve as a lesson for Nigeria. In the past, Nigeria was one of the top countries that placed Africa on the international sporting map. However, Rio Olympics shows how bad things have become.
We hope this event will make the Nigerian sports ministry take responsibility and change things for the better.