Paralympic Games: Another Excursion for Nigerian Para-Athletes

The issues that emanated from the recently concluded main Olympic Games in Rio Brazil still lingers in the mind of many Nigerians, and here comes the Paralympic games which will be held between September 7-18 in the same city looking like another looming failure.

As at the time of reporting, the country’s representatives are yet to know their fate with regards to athlete who will make it to Rio, issues over unpaid camping allowances just like we had in the main Olympics. In fact, there is no communication from the Nigeria Paralympic Committee (NPC) and the Sports Ministry.
It is crystal clear that there is no coordination between the NPC is not in sync with the sports ministry as one of its officials told Vanguard earlier in the week that the committee is in the dark.
‘I don’t have any idea when we are leaving for Rio,” said the anonymous.
‘We haven’t heard anything concerning fund from the sports ministry, but we have tentatively fixed  our departure for August 31. We are just waiting to see if that will be possible,’ the official added.
The Paralympic games is an event held every four years, it is quite laughable and disheartening to hear that any country is not prepared for the games. Athletes have been training. The question is, what has the sports ministry been doing?

Let us cut the Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung some slack here! He only joined the ministry in November 2015, except the ministry and the NPC would say he halted their plans towards this year’s Olympics. If otherwise, why does it seem like there was no plan in place after 2012 Olympics?

It is a fact that Nigerian Para-athletes always deliver, and with a little more encouragement from the appropriate quarters medals will pour in of course from the usual events being Athletics and Powerlifting, It is also important to note that from Barcelona 1992 till London 2012,Nigeria has only participated in four events (Table Tennis and Tennis including Athletics and Paralifting) out of about 20 sports. The total number of sports in this year’s games is about 23, yet Nigeria will be represented in just three (Powerlifting,Table Tennis and Athletics) which shows the level of development in the nation’s sports.

When the Paralympic games begin, Nigerians back home can only remain hopeful and trust the athletes who would be at Rio to be at their best. There may be no Japanese largess this time, please be warned!

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