Meet Nigeria’s First Ever Olympic Medalist

Nojim Maiyegun
Nojim Maiyegun, a former Nigerian Middleweight boxing champion and also Nigeria`s first Olympic medallist, was born in February 21, 1944 in Lagos. He won the bronze medal in the men`s Light Middleweight (71 kg) category at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, becoming Nigeria`s first Olympic medalist.

Maiyegun, famously called Omo Oloja by fans, has spent more than half of his life in Austria where he had decided to settle since 1971 in order to attract more international fights.

1964 Tokyo Olympics, he won Nigeria’s first Olympic medal. Besides winning the Olympic medal, he won a bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica in 1966 and a few more medals which included an African Championship gold and a medal from the 1960 Independence celebration tournament.
Maiyegun’s dream of winning a world title was cut short by blindness. He had to take up menial jobs to survive after his boxing career ended in Austria. He was employed as a street cleaner and janitor but had to be accompanied to carry out his duties. He worked for 28 years before retiring.

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According to him,  “I’m not sure what could have caused the blindness but doctors thought it could have been from punches on the head. It started partially, and at a point I had to fight a world championship title bout with the sight problem. I lost the fight on decision but it is on record that I am the first blind boxer to fight for a title. I could see with one eye then.”

Maiyegun is also on record to be the first completely blind man in Austria to climb a mountain 1,700 metres high and jump with a parachute.

His wife whom he married in 1962 and their three children live in London.

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