When it comes to Olympic games, most people ain’t looking at TEAM NIGERIA doing well in any of the sports really.
The reason is simple and clear…
TEAM Nigeria went to London 2012 Olympic Games and came back without a single medal… they didn’t prepare so well then…. But now in 2016, they didn’t prepare at all, so we are almost sure most of the athletes will be going to Brazil just for another Jamboree.
But permit me a little wishful thinking…
Maybe, team Nigeria could put up some fight in the women four by two hundred metres relay race or perhap, Blessing Okagbare could pull a stunt like Chioma Ajunwa did in 1996 and surprisely won GOLD in triple jump – Trust the ‘Nigerian Spirit!’
Now, don’t laugh too much, you can’t just write off Nigeria like that. Yes! We can genuinely boast that we can win several medals: Gold, Silver, Bronze… in Para-Olympics weightlifting, wrestling and…
Well, it wouldn’t matter much anyway… whether Okagbare breaks 100metres record or the para-Olympians won a thousand medals… only one Olympic Gold is at stake for most Nigerians – the men football GOLD MEDAL!
If Nigeria Dream team wins the football Gold, then to an average Nigerian, we have won the Rio Olympic games, no matter how many medals any other country amassed.
It’s amazing really, in the mind of most Nigerian sports fans, Nigeria is going to Rio with just one sport – football!.
If the Dream team is ever knocked out of the tournament, then the interest in the Olympics is over for most Nigerians.
Understanding this, the Head coach of Nigeria Olympic men football team, Samson Siasia has gone ahead to start preparation for his team, amidst daunting challenges.
First, the sports ministry is providing little or no support to the team’s camping in USA. In fact, the minister of sports, Solomon Dulung state that he is not aware that the team is camping in U.S.
Second, NFF couldn’t secure the release of some of Nigeria’s finest rising stars: Kelechi Iheanacho, Alex Iwobi, Isaac Success or Siasia’s preferred over aged players: Mikel Obi, Odion Ighalo and Kenneth Omeruo.
Siasia has moved from building a special Dream team like the 1996 squad, to building a fable… more of unknown players, so to say.
The good thing is this…
Nigerians and indeed the rest of the world ain’t expecting much from the Dream team any longer… This may just be the fable Siasia needed to stun the world once again… and that will bring joy to the heart of most Nigerians.