Former British champion Mike "Olayemi" Edwards will represent Nigeria in the high jump event at the upcoming Commonwealth Games
The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) included the 27-year-old high jumper among the list of athletes that will represent Nigeria at the Commonwealth games.
Mike Edwards is a 27-year-old Athlete in the High Jump event; he is also an entrepreneur as he owns a company (Aireyys) that produces high quality Cigar’s as well as grooming products for men.
Edwards, who was born to a Jamaican Father and Nigerian mother, in an interview with the Guardian revealed why he decided to switch his allegiance from Britain to Nigeria.
The high jumper revealed that his middle name is “Olayemi” and that his relatives are in Nigeria.
Edwards revealed in the interview that he was sent to school in Lagos, Nigeria as he has a special relationship with his mother, who taught him the Nigerian values and culture.
Edwards also said in the interview that he chose to represent Nigeria, due to his personal relationship with his mother as well as discovering that Nigeria has not had a male High jumper in over 50 years.
Edwards revealed that he intends to motivate younger Nigerian Athletes to take part in the high jumping event.
He revealed that upon his switch, he has been congratulated by one of Nigeria’s bobsled team Seun Adigun, and he is already preparing to represent Nigeria at the games.
In the interview Edwards revealed that he and his fiancé Perri Shakes-Drayton will be competing under different flags at the Commonwealth Games.
Edwards was victorious in the Long Jump event at the British Championships on Sunday, February 18, having finished third and runner-up in previous outings.
To celebrate his long awaited victory, the Athlete took a puff out of his custom made Cigars, which led to outrage among some sections of the British press.
He however denied that was the reason behind his decision to wear the green and white of Nigeria.
He posted a message on his Official Instagram account to address the backlash.
Edwards talked about his Cigars as a source of sponsorship for him as an Athlete.
“I received some backlash from my Cigar on the podium at the British Championships last weekend. Well here’s my response: Most athletes have Nike or Adidas sponsors. I have my Cigars❗️”
He explained how his Cigars are beneficial for developing countries, as they help solve water crisis on various countries.
“Whilst many might be quick to judge on the topic of an athlete associated with smoking, my cigars actually help solve a serious problem on the Water Crises - For example every AIREYYS cigar sold, provides a person in need clean drinking water for an entire year in developing nations...”
“Now if anybody else has a problem, think deeper before you try to check me. Sincerely, The People’s Champ.” Edwards concluded.
Edwards decision to represent Nigeria comes after 400m runner Emmanuel Bamidele decided to switch his allegiance from Nigeria to Qatar.
The Commonwealth games is scheduled to take place in Gold Coast, Australia from Wednesday, April 4 to Sunday, April 15.