A special recognision, appreciation, qudos and thank you to all athletes representing Nigeria at the Rio 2016 Olympics. You’re all worthy heroes and heroines.
I also want to use this medium to specially recognise an unsung athlete whom not much has been talked about. Much has been said about Chierika Ukogu and her self efforts to represent Nigeria in the Rowing events of Rio Olympics 2016. There is also a Nigerian Canoer/Rower – Jonathan Akinyemi. Yes! He’s the first canoer/rower ever to represent Nigeria at the Summer Olympic games.
He represented Nigeria at the London Olympics 2012 and Rio Olympics 2016 in the Slalom Canoe K1. All through by self sponsorship and efforts like Chierika! They have both made Nigeria proud by their efforts, despite not winning any medals. I also think they are trying to emulate french-born Togolese rower/canoer Benjamin Thomas Boukpeti, who having represented France in Athens Olympics 2004 was left out unfairly few weeks to the Beijin Olympic’08. He opted to represent his parents’ country – Togo and won a bronze while France won nothing.
I was surprised in 2008 when on Day 3 or 4 of Olympics, I read a sports news that little Togo had won a bronze medal. I made more research and got more interest in Canoe Slalom and Rowing events and hoped a Nigerian would win medals for us one day.
Jonathan Akinyemi has made me proud, likewise millions of Nigerians. Keep it up !