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Rethink It With Ben Rio 2016 Olympics: This bronze medal does not belong to Nigeria

After our trademark 'fire brigade' approach, and reducing our athletes to beggars, will our Ministry of Sports now claim a bronze medal won by the Dream Team?

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At last, the show of shame is over and taking nothing from the dedication and resourcefulness of our athletes, we got far more than we deserved in the just concluded Rio 2016 Olympics.

Without any doubt, this by far is our worst Olympics so far, and not even the bronze medal won by the Dream Team can erase that fact.

This tournament was marred by shame on a scale never before experienced by Nigeria as a nation.

Though we are used to payments being delayed but to subject our whole entire Olympic team to begging, is a step too far.

ALSO READ: Abandoned Nigerian athletes beg for financial support, open GoFundMe accounts

John Mikel Obi and Dream Team VI players play Mikel says the togetherness in the team has carried them so far in Rio 2016 (FIFA.com)


And now after our trademark 'fire brigade' approach, and reducing our athletes to beggars, will our Ministry of Sports now claim a bronze medal won by the Dream Team?

This bronze medal does not belong to Nigeria, it belongs to the individuals who made up the team.

Who persevered even after receiving no funds, were stranded at the airport, arrived at Rio without their kits, and whom the sports minister did not even know were camped in the US.

I wish every athlete that flew the Nigerian flag had competed under the Olympic flag as independent athletes, after all they sponsored themselves to the games and are self trained.

Chierika Ukogu play Chierika Ukogu in the semi-finals of Women’s Single sculls rowing event in Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (NAN)

I wish the Dream Team had, then these clowns would have nothing to claim as an achievement.

It's a big shame that a nation with the highest black population in the world cannot dominate events typically won by blacks from other nations.

And not because Nigerians are lazy or unathletic, but because of the incompetency of the so called sports administrators who are just political appointees, and are not qualified to run the office.

Alas the same plague that torments every sector in this country also torments the sports sector, an incompetent government.

D'Tigers play D'Tigers looking to make history (Twitter)


Every successful nation has learnt to separate sports and various other administrations from government. This grants them autonomy and immunity from the ever changing governments.

These bodies are run by professionals from their individual fields, and are sponsored by corporate bodies.

This enables them to prepare effectively, and develop long lasting grassroot programs that continually feeds their system with new and better athletes every year.

Not so in Nigeria and most African countries where a new sports minister is appointed alongside a new President.

Team Nigeria play

Team Nigeria



The lack of continuity is one of the reasons the bottom of the medals table is dominated by African countries. An irony when you consider that majority of the sports are actually won by blacks.

And they are all there for the same reasons - greed, corruption, crony politics and nepotism.

I applaud everyone of our athletes who against all odds, prepared and sponsored themselves to the Olympics. And were graceful enough to fly the Nigerian colours. You are truly champions.

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