Despite all odds, the most populous country in West Africa has its representatives at the current Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These individuals have embarked on a national assignment to represent their country at the biggest sporting event in the world and hopefully, bring home the gold.
Nigeria is participating in ten games at the Olympic Games this year and already, there are some standout players you don’t want to miss in action. Some of them have made Nigeria proud before and they are ready to do so again.
Chierika is probably the most quintessential lady in the history of Nigerian sports. Her patriotism and dedication towards making her fatherland proud will definitely make it to the history books, assuming we have them in the future. Born in the United States, her passion for rowing has led her to represent the country in the ongoing Olympics. She has already made history the first Nigerian to ever participate in the Rowing event.
Interestingly, Chierika is competing without the support of the Nigerian government as she raised the funds to take her to the games by herself. She did this through a GoFundMe campaign, which she started in 2015, successfully gathering over $12,000 to get the necessary equipment and pay for transportation to Rio, Brazil. Before the current Olympic Games, she trained with the US rowing team.
Chierika, whose friends call her ‘coco’ is currently thriving at Rio as she has qualified for the semi-final stage of the rowing events. Coco is a graduate of Stanford University.
Female Category: Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor
Blessing Okagbare is a Nigerian female athlete with an incredible cv. She specialises in both long jump and short sprinting events, with a bag full of medals to her name. At 19, Blessing won a Bronze medal at the women’s long jump event during the Beijing Olympics Games in 2008. In 2013, she also proved herself to be unique by winning a Silver medal in long jump and a Bronze medal in the 200m event at the World Championship in Moscow.
Blessing was also at her best during the Commonwealth Games in 2014 where she won a Gold medal, breaking records in the 100m and 200m racing events. Impressively, she ran the 100m race in 10.85s and also completed the 200m race in 22.25s. The two medals made her the fourth woman in the history of the 100m and 200m event to achieve this feat in the Commonwealth Games.
Many are optimistic that she will perform excellently at the ongoing Olympic Games in Rio.
Male Category: Seyi Ogunlewe
Seyi will be representing Nigeria at the 100m race event in the ongoing Rio Olympics Games. He is currently the fastest man in Nigeria, completing the 100m race in 10.12s omly. He was a finalist at the 2015 All African Games. He also represented Nigeria at the Brazzaville Games in 2014 and many are positive that he will do well this year at the Rio Olympics.
Male Category: Quadri Aruna
Quadri Aruna is a Nigerian table tennis player who has made waves over the years. He defeated a Spanish player in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He was ranked by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) as the best in Africa and 30th position in World Table Tennis.
John Mikel Obi
He is an exceptional player in the Nigerian football team. Mikel was named the ‘Man of the match’ at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals, hosted by South Africa. Most likely as a result of his tenacity and the team’s cohesion during the games, Nigeria emerged the best team in Africa in the tournament. When he is not on the Nigerian national team, he plays for Chelsea Football Club in the Barclays Premier League, England. He is currently the captain of the Nigerian Dream Team at Rio 2016.
He is a professional footballer who plays as a striker for a Portuguese team, C.D. Feirense. Etebo is currently making waves at the Rio Olympic Games as he scored 4 goals at the opening match against Japan. Despite the hindrances that trailed the travelling arrangements of the Nigerian Dream team, Etebo’s 4 stunning goals raised Nigerians’ hope. He also made history as his 4 goals equal the record made by Bernd Nickel, 44 years ago. He is still expected to score more breathtaking goals at the ongoing Olympic Games.
Male Category: Samson Opuakpo
He is a brilliant backstroke and freelance swimmer. He is currently the best male swimmer in Nigeria, holding the record for the best backstroke and distance freestyle in the country. Samson is currently representing Nigeria at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Female Category: Rachael Tonjor
She is one of the best female swimmers in the country. She currently holds the national record of 50m backstroke in 33.81s. Tonjor has been making waves in the swimming event as she represents the country in Rio this year.