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After Spending a Whooping N2.2Billion, Team Nigeria wins No Medal | How can we ensure Better Performance at Rio 2016?

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Team Nigeria’s participation at the London 2012 Olympics came to a disappointing end yesterday as no member of the team won any medal at the world games.

The last time Nigeria left the Olympic Games without a medal was 24 years ago in the Seoul Olympic Games of 1988. However, their performance this year was an unusual record compared to the nation’s achievements at the Games in the past two decades. In Beijing 2008 Olympics, Team Nigeria won 4 medals – 1 silver and 3 bronze medals.

Thisday reports that N2.2 billion was spent on Team Nigeria’s preparation and participation in the games.

Some of the medal hopefuls including Team Nigeria Captain, Chika Chukwumerije who won a bronze at the last Olympic Games in Beijing did not begin his contest until a day before the closing ceremony, but in his only fight, he lost to his Cuban opponent.

Sprinter, Blessing Okagbare despite having a good start, breaking a personal best record in her heats did not finish off with a medal.

Ajoke Odumosu also raised the nation’s hopes when she reached the 400m hurdles finals but she came last to end all medal expectations from the race.

The basketball team, D’Tigers reached the Olympics for the first time with much expectation and started off to a good start with a win in their first match against Tunisia. Sadly, they lost other matches afterwards.

Team Nigeria had a total of 51athletes competing in 8 different sports – Athletics, Weightlifting, Taekwondo(athletes) Canoeing (one athlete), Wrestling, Basketball, Table Tennis and Boxing.

Many have attributed the poor performance of Team Nigeria to lack of adequate preparation, poor management of athletes, corruption in the sports ministry and more.

What are your thoughts? What do you think is responsible for the dismal performance of Team Nigeria at the Olympics? What is the way forward? What should Nigeria do to ensure better performance at Rio 2016?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

49 Comments

  1. Gold digger

    August 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    So where did we spend the 2.2 billion naira? the uniform, the hotel bills, the return ticket, where please? this country… I tire sha.

    • pfunk

      August 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Shame on Nigeria,national disgrace.Some of the things Nigeria are good at
      -corruption
      -greed
      -evilness
      -dishonesty

      Are we the giant of africa more like shameful face of africa boosting of the most corrupt government.no water.electricity,bad schoools ,healthcare below par the list goes on.

  2. Kingsley

    August 13, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    My words for TEAM Nigeria is they should not give up there is always a next time.
    Posted by the writer of
    http://www.historyofyaradua.blogspot.com

  3. Princess of Zion

    August 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Facilities; they need state of the art equipment to train.
    Salary; make it attractive and encouraging for them so they can pursue their sports career full-time.
    They should compete in more games; to build their confidence and practise.
    They can only be sent on training courses in the states; where they can work with great coaches and equipment.
    All the best next time.

    Appreciate your spouse this week; it’s the Celebration of Marriage Week!

    http://www.princessofzion.wordpress.com

  4. Naveah

    August 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Who is sponsoring the athletes…the govt, major companies? How will they do well if during the four in between Olympic games, they are not training their bodies to keep it in optimal shape or practicing their chosen sports? The athletes that compete in the Olympics that we saw at their peak live and breath their sports 365 days a year! They are not just preparing right before, they are in perpetual training, that is their actual job: being olympic athletes until they retire. We don’t have resources such as state of the arts training facilities for these various sports but I bet you we have a Gabrielle Douglas right in our midst but where is the gym or the coach with the knowlege? Would the government bring in a teacher from the States or China or Russia to coach that young person who displays the talent for it? No. Would the parents even consider sacrificing for the child in that field? No. Parents will sacrifice for med/law school but certainly not for gymnastics. And the other thing with some of our Naija people is that they will learn something enough to be good but they don’t stick out it long enough to be GREAT, Nollywood is a perfect example of our half ass ways. We learn enough to make noise but further enough to make an impact! And what’s worse is that our community is very supportive of these endeavors, some of these people we admire have strong communal and familial support, most of them started as children to do these things. Sha, let’s hope the people who went take the lessons home and impart them to the rest. I KNOW WE CAN DO IT!

  5. Naveah

    August 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    *years*

  6. Naveah

    August 13, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    *not further enough to make an impact*

  7. Egein Baralate

    August 13, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I think we should have our own heats in the country first, let the whole country see who the best amongst us are, the pre-olympic heat should be shown on national TV. They should find a way of getting rid of stingy, corrupt and greedy officers in the sports ministry. We should take our physical education in Primary and Secondary schools more seriously, and we Nigerians should take our National Sports Festival or Event more serious, this way we could even know the best from those events and ask questions why the winners aren’t participating in the Olympics.

    • Me

      August 14, 2012 at 4:00 am

      I agree with you. What gives us the audacity to expect a medal when we don’t take sports seriously in this country? Athletes need better equipments and pay, in addition to these they need the support of the people.

  8. why not own ur blog?

    August 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    BN u looking for trouble,am tired of all those sick comment abt my belove country.long live Nigeria

  9. AB

    August 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Practice people, practice. Those countries who won medals did not have their athletes practicing 2 weeks prior to the Olympics event. So, as a country, our athletes need to start practicing begining now so that as a country we have 4 good years to get ready. This way, we won’t have to go home without a medal again.

  10. nelo

    August 13, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I don’t think N2.2billion is whooping at all in comparison to what China invested in their athletes as well as adequate preparation. The medal coount is their ROI.Even the kenyans who are blessed with the altitude and terrain for long distance sprinting don’t leave it all to chance. Most of the athletes have raw talent and need better training. If we don’t watch out, the Dutch will be thinking of how to poach blessing okagbare (that’s their specialty). I still love u Yagazie chukwumerije irrespective 😉

    • Debby

      August 14, 2012 at 9:32 am

      N2.2billiom might much compare to what China invested in their athletes, china invested well and wisely. Even if they were given more than this amount do they spend the money on the right thing other their pocket. if they can be given N2.2 billion and not invested wisely, who will venture to ive them more!

  11. Gimmer

    August 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Question – How can we ensure Better Performance at Rio 2016?
    Answer – How about Nigeria sits its butt at home? they spend this “last minute” money to go and compete with world class trained athletes yet expect to win anything? i mean they dont even have world class coaches training the team in Nigeria. people dont just wake up 6 months before the olympics and start jogging around VGC in supposed “training”

    • AB

      August 14, 2012 at 12:39 am

      You are obviously NOT a Nigerian from the way you use the words “they” so what gives you the effrontery to tell we Nigerians what to do? Another bad belle African on the loose yet again. And no, we are NOT going to sit our butts at home. Our athletes have (hopefully) learnt their lessons so they will come better prepared in the next olympics.

    • Gimmer

      August 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      bhwhahahha…i am probably more Nigeria than you are. some of us are just so darn tired of how “they” embarass themselves so tay…we just use style jabo you thus the “they” ” themseleves”..etc…wehn you start winning medals and you cut back on your fraudulent activiteis, then i will be inspired to use words like “we”, “us” “our”…pikin wey good, na ihn papa…the one wey embarass family for olympic, na ihn mama. hahahahha

    • KimHyunJoong

      August 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Seriously, I don’t think they have learnt their lessons because that’s what they keep saying year after year. RIO 2016 and it will be the same old thing. Lastly, how do you know if Gimmer is Nigerian or not. Don’t just lash out on someone if you are not sure.

  12. Eva

    August 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    N2.2 billion???? Ha!! Nigeria!!!! SMH! Honestly speaking I really think we have no business whatsoever in going for the 2016 Olympics! That would just give all these ‘money looters’ we call our government an excuse to steal more money, not that they even need one to do so. We as a country have a lot of rebuilding to do,we have so many problems and unfortunately its mainly MENTAL!! Greed has eaten into the core of our senses, we have totally lost it, both government and common citizens! Look at us we thought we could to London and shine, HOW DO WE EXPECT TO?? when we have a total mess back home, it can never work out! We have to deal with all the mess we have in our home before we go out to showcase as a country in international events, because as of now! we don’t have a country we just have have individuals living in a particular region of the continent of Africa! Everybody is just as selfish as the next person not caring and just looking out for number one! May God have mercy on us all o!

    • Gee daY

      August 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

      Soooo true and well Said Eva! Our government needs to STOP!!! embarassing ourselves as a people and internalize/deal with our obvious issues first- Corruption due to no national pride, stemming from not evolving as a people. I just returned from Ghana and was nearly brought to tears at the late presidents Mills’s funeral. We are not human out here in Nigeria. A revolution is imminent!, we are not a nation. The north does what is only good for the North, Likewise, the east, “south-south” etcetera. A country that has to “pick a tribe” to contest for the office of the president- IS NOT A nation bound together. We are a waste of skin, natural and human resource alike.

    • Bianca

      August 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      #2.2 billion is a huge deal.Lets perish the idea of going for the 2016 olympics,pls lets skip it for the next one,and focus on preparing adequately.

  13. a-gie

    August 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Its really shameful, not even 1 medal, 1 bronze.. well i think corruption and favoritism is is 1 of the reasons for nigerias failure, choosing athletes u knw not cos they’re good @ what they do.. SMH

  14. F to the B

    August 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    by not going…? wasteful imbeciles!!

  15. habba!

    August 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    WHAT? they spent 2.2billion? oh my GOD! i hope im reading wrong facts because we carried LAST in every event! they did not look fit at all! gosh im sick of nigerian politicians! we know they used that money on their kids to be flossing around in Lagos! mchew! Nigeria does not take spots seriously! I REMEMBER IN secondary skol during P.E we would sit down and take notes for hours! instead of practicing! ohh well may We help our selves because at this point God has more Important things to do.

  16. gee

    August 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Haba bella naija,did i hear u say we won nothing? what happen to the kpako,copper,rubber n iron they brought back home? pls revisit ur source.

    • KathyLiberman

      August 13, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      lol

  17. adams samuel olorunfemi

    August 13, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    what a show of shame

  18. ZK

    August 13, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    They should start training NOW for 2016 and not wait till a few months before they start training!

  19. @ajiriavae

    August 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    What we need is to get these athletes together into a camp like the Chinese do, and let them train full time. Of course, it means that they should be on a salary. Everybody training should compete for a spot on the 2016 Olympic team Nigeria.
    http://ajiristyle.blogspot.com/

  20. segun

    August 13, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    What do you expect from a poorly and hurriedly prepared team Nigeria, nothing but disgrace as seen. This was due largely to the high level corruption syndicate in the ministry of sports. Solution is comprehensive probe of the finance of the team and due punishment of all culprits. Preparation for Rio 2016 should start now by putting the round pegs (right people) in the round holes (in charge of the choosing and preparing the next team). Nigeria has the talents in abundance and we can rule the world with honesty, dedication and good preparation. God bless Nigeria and destroy the agents of corruption and unrighteousness in it.

  21. Amber

    August 13, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I don’t blame the olympians at all.if u know them personally,they will tell u their ordeal.not all of them lives in Nigeria .and for them to have represented Nigeria,big kudos to them.pls ask naija government when they released the money and who managed the money…mschew.abeg nobody should represent naija again jare.that govt is not serious

  22. MsSexy

    August 13, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    So u people r stl thinking towards Rio? U people better take a Cue from Ghana and stay away and stop disgracing unaselves, after all Ghana no go Olympics, less disgrace for their county, una go there go pack d rubbish after d game don finish begin dey look for person wey lose hin medal so u go steal am hian, rubbish

  23. Tech Kid

    August 13, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I was not expecting them to win a medal… don’t blame the athletes, blame the corrupt and lazy sport officials that do not know how to market sports in Nigeria and get sponsorship from private companies!

  24. Sociable Susan

    August 14, 2012 at 12:53 am

    It you want to win, you must do what winners do. Therefore, Nigeria must copy what China and the USA does, which won’t happen anytime soon…However, even the athletes in the USA and China pay for their wins too. Gold winning gymnast, Gabby Douglas’ single mother filed for bankruptcy after owing $80,000 earlier this year after she each spent so much money on their child’s Olympic dreams because Gabby’s father didn’t send the child support checks consistently to her. Gold winning swimmer, Ryan Lochte’s parents are staring foreclosure on their Florida home in the face because they didn’t have enough money to pay their mortgage since February. Wu Minxia, who won gold for China in the 3m synchronized springboard event who was taken away to train wasn’t told that her grandparents had died the year before and her mother had breast cancer, but had been cured, just so she wouldn’t be distracted. She was eventually told after her Olympic events were over. Keep in mind that those are the ones who won. So, even with the so called winners, we see that all that glitters isn’t gold. There’s always sacrifice involved in achieving anything of that magnitude. Let’s not talk about the thousands who invested everything and have nothing to show for it… So for now, let’s focus on the cheerful side of things like my dear Nigerian athletes who didn’t embarrass Nigeria by disappearing like some of the Cameroonians did…

  25. naijababe

    August 14, 2012 at 1:35 am

    Well, it’s called misplaced priorities. Nigerians are notorious for that, they like to spend money just to spend it but no vision. Who cares, if they spend 2 billion naira, it was probably mostly done to show off, the 200 officials stayed in the most expensive hotels, so it’s still about them. To get a medal, it’s beyond showing off, it’s beyond wasting money, it’s about having a goal, and going after it. At this point, the government need to wake up, and understand that they are failing because they are not taking effective actions.

  26. belinda

    August 14, 2012 at 2:34 am

  27. NNENNE

    August 14, 2012 at 4:21 am

    The Olympic games is like exams… Good students do not wait for last minute studying.

  28. faith

    August 14, 2012 at 5:58 am

    When they keep sending failures to the OlyMpics wat do u expect? Smh..imagine sending some1 dat has gone to the Olympics 6times n has no single medal tO show for it and they keep sending him back.abeg nobody shuold go in 2016!

  29. Jade Noelle

    August 14, 2012 at 6:07 am

    what they need is solid, top notch coaches. and they needed to have started practicing anytime between 6 months to a 1 year.

    • Ginika

      August 14, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Jade, dont you mean they need to start practising now for the next Olympics?

  30. Meedeey

    August 14, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I just wrote something on this same topic on my blog a few hours ago. You might want to read and share your thoughts. I definitely agree with many of the comments. Very well said.

    http://www.meedeey.blogspot.com/2012/08/now-that-olympics-have-come-and-gone.html

    http://www.meedeey.blogspot.com/2012/08/still-on-this-olympic-matter.html

  31. pynk

    August 14, 2012 at 8:06 am

    cut out many of the officials and let the athletes practice their trade.

  32. Theodora

    August 14, 2012 at 8:11 am

    What our athletes need is constant training, intensive training infact they should start training now not this 3 months to go training, then the funds should be checked to see it gets to the right sources…….preparation determination hunger for glory will make them stand out in the olympics come 2016………

  33. Amber

    August 14, 2012 at 8:47 am

    People still don’t get it.Nigeria will never grow till corruption is eradicated and probably split abeg.and with the way things are going,this president wants it to split.did anyone read Odumosu interview,ur govt released money 2months before Olympics.some don’t even stay in naija,so am asking,how many people in naija could volunteer to go to Olympics when most people are ridden with greed and want fast money,nobody cares about gold or awards but money.do u know how much the US athletes get paid compared to the work they did.it is now that most of them are getting contracts that will fetch them money.if it were to be naija,they won’t even welcome them let alone when they become old and sick recognize all their sacrifice for that country.it aches when I hear about Nigeria.i don’t pray for the country let alone say ‘amen’when they pray for her but I just pray for my family and loved ones.that country…Geeeeeez!

  34. Jokers

    August 14, 2012 at 9:38 am

    The height of buffoonery was when the minister or so was interviewed about not winning medals and he said the good thing about the Olympics and the Nigerian Outing was that there was no fights or quarrel between the NOC (Nigerian Olympic Committee) and NSC (Nigerian Sports Commission). SMH. Look at the fools that are leading us.

  35. Vee

    August 14, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Let’s put this in context N2.2bn is only £8.8m!!!!!! National Lottery alone has spent £4billion directly on sports in GB in the last 18 years, circa £222m a year.

    Consistent investment in sports is key, in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Team GB won just a single event – in rowing, that year; Team GB was beaten by Team Ethiopia, and even Team Belgium.

    That said, we need to appreciate our Nigerians athletes for representing us. They didn’t win medals but I was proud to see Nigerians participate – it would have been amazing to sing the ‘Arise o compatriots….’ at the Olympic park or at least win one medal but these people ran/played with the best and I am proud of them – the goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit…..

    Nigeria will be good one day – our spoken words alone have crucified the nation – lets keep hope alive!!

    • Nick

      August 14, 2012 at 10:14 am

      God bless you!

  36. queenbee

    August 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    story story! Story…
    4 years is enough to prepare for an olympic medal. If Nigeria wants a medal, Nigeria should train like they want a medal. Train 365/24/7 and you don’t need millions of Naira to be a great athlete either. We have stadiums where people can go train. My cousin played in the basketball team and the team was slapped together in 3 months. How do you put together an olympic team in 3 months? Parents too needs to support their children’s athletic dream and be a source of motivation for their medal hopefuls. We all cannot be lawyers and Doctors and Engineers. Just as the entertainment industry folks (nollywood & music) fought society to gain respect and recognition, athletes must do the same. Train hard, commit to your sport and you’ll win a medal in 2016. And watch how Nigerian government and others will kiss the ground you walk on. but when you slap a team together, expect to be beat by 83 points!
    PS: we have no business going to the olympic unprepared. Put your best foot forward Nigeria! that can’t be so hard!!!

  37. kelvin

    August 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

    i think IAAF should introduce games like corruption, stealing and so on and i bet u Nigerian will come home with Gold no doubt.

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