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Rasheed Babatunde Oshoba First Nigerian to bear Olympic torch now a construction worker

Rasheed Babatunde Oshoba has a life-size statue of him opposite the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

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Rasheed Babatunde Liasu play Rasheed Babatunde Liasu (The Phenominon)

The first Nigerian to ever hold and run with the Olympic torch, Rasheed Babatunde Oshoba is currently a construction worker.

Babatunde Oshoba was a sprinter and long distance runner between 1970s and 1980s.

His Olympic torch carrying feat earned him a life-size statue opposite the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. The statute was made from a photo of him running into the stadium with the touch.

Rasheed Babatunde Liasu play A photo of Rasheed Babatunde Liasu with the Olympic torch is a statute opposite National Stadium in Surulere (The Phenominon)

 

According to him, he was approached by some people in Oshodi who said they needed young and talented athlete to carry the Olympic torch.

He was selected as the last runner and took the torch into the stadium.

Babatunde Oshoba was born in Accra, Ghana to Nigerian migrant parents from Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital.

He started running in school joining Union Bank Marathon 1985 when he was just 19. He retired at the age of 30 from injuries he sustained after collapsing during a race at All Africa Maltonic Marathon.

 “When I regained consciousness inside a clinic at the stadium, I had to lie down for five hours while needles were inserted all over my body," the 49-year-old said in an interview.

I was confined to hospital for a long time. I lived with severe pains and the condition of the leg was so bad that doctors advised me to stay off sports. I was warned that if I trouble the leg I would be risking amputation.

“I was afraid for my leg; I even went to seek native treatment for a long time but there was little improvement.”

Rasheed believes he was attacked diabolically.

Rasheed Babatunde Liasu play Rasheed Babatunde Liasu's wife and kids (The Phenominon)

 

 “I know many don’t believe that people use charms in sports, but it was not new in those days,” he said.

Since he retired from active athletics, Rasheed has been dealing in building construction, specialising in specific areas like house roofing, aluminum related windows/sliding doors, interior/exterior as well as aluminum supplies among others.

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