The president of the Nigeria Olympians Association, Olumide Oyedeji, has revealed that 15 deserving Olympians would be honoured during this year’s Olympic day scheduled for June 24 in Abuja.
Speaking with media men in Lagos recently, the former D’Tigers captain said as an Olympian, there is need to celebrate themselves rather than waiting for others to do so. Oyedeji added that NOA, which is made up of Olympic athletes, would continue to pursue the interest of its members and see to their welfare.
“There are over 100,000 living Olympians throughout the world, over 2000 are Nigerians and 50 Olympians will join this exclusive group after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” he said.
“There are 96 national Olympics associations and NOA was founded in 1998 as a member of the World Olympic Association. “We want to thank the pioneer members of the NOA like Smart Akraka, who was the first president, Segun Odegbami, Yusuf Ali, Henry Amike, Henry Nwosu, Falilat Ogunkoya, late Sunday Bada, Bridget Yamala, Mary Onyali and many others. “Part of our mission is to cater for the welfare of all Olympians and on this note we want to create a platform of appreciation and recognition of the remarkable contributions made by individual Olympians.
“We have decided that if people don’t appreciate us we have to appreciate ourselves because it takes over 10,000 hours of practice and hard work to be an Olympian.
“As Olympians, we have decided to do things differently. In view of this, we have decided we are going to honour our legends and heroes, we are going to celebrate ourselves. We are going to give the younger generation a platform to look up to, so they can have the passion to wear the green and white colours of Nigeria.
“We have decided that on June 23 which is the Olympic Day, we have lined up some activities to celebrate our past heroes and on June 24 we are going to honour our past heroes and celebrate them.
We will be having a banquet and dinner, which will be tagged ‘The Labour of Our Heroes Past.’ About 15 Olympians who represented this country from 1952 till date will be rewarded, awarded and celebrated.”