From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday unveiled the Team Nigeria Olympics kit/ equipment and presentation of TEAM NIGERIA contingent to President Muhammadu Buhari as they head out to participate in the Olympics before the contingent departs for Tokyo, Japan on July 13, 2021.
In all, a total of 58 athletes will be competing for glory in the Olympic Games and 22 athletes for the Paralympic Games, respectively.
Twenty three coaches are to represent country at the Games, in the following nine sports Athletics – 18 (6 Males and 12 Females), Basketball – 24 (12 Males and 12 Females), Badminton – 3 (1 Male and 2 Females), Canoeing – 1 (1 Female) and Gymnastics – 1 (1 Male).
Others are Rowing – 1 (1 Female), Table Tennis – 4 (2 Males and 2 Females), Taekwondo – 1 (1 Female) and Wrestling – 5 (1 Male, 4 Females).
Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, urged the team to replicate the performances of past Nigerian Olympians, noting, “You stand on the shoulders of giants.”
Recalling the exploits of past Nigerian teams, the Vice President added “you will also carry with you the encouragement of the great exploits of Nigerian Olympians before you.”
The Vice President reminded the team of “such legends as Chioma Ajunwa who won the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics for the long jump and became the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal in a field event.
Continuing, Osinbajo said “in 2000, in Sydney again we beat the best in the world, we won the gold in 4×400 meter relay after the American team was disqualified for using performance-enhancing drugs.
“And for anyone who thinks we are joking, maybe they haven’t seen our exhibition basketball game on Saturday with the USA team, especially that amazing block by Precious Achiuwa against KD – Kevin Durant, who is probably the best player in the NBA right now. So precious, you are the real MVP!
“You stand on the shoulders of giants and with the quality and intensity of training you have received and your exploits during the qualification series for the Olympic Games, I am confident that by God’s grace, you will again make history and beat the best in the world.”