CSED Rolls Out Memories Of How Nigerian Athletes Shocked The World
By Amaechi Agbo
History cements and tells past stories, defines present realities and forecasts future events.
Nigeria’s athletes have in the no distant past held the world spellbound in global athletics competitions with mouthwatering performances that signposted Nigeria as one of the dreaded countries with indefatigable athletes who are ready to die in the field, track to defend the country and make a podium finish.
On August 2, 2020, Nigerians marked the 24th year a Nigerian woman, Chioma Ajunwa faced the world in long jump at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games in USA and made history as the first woman in Nigeria and first black woman in Africa to win gold medal.
On August 3rd, same year, Nigeria’s Dream Team Super Eagles won the Olympic gold medal after coming from a goal down twice to defeat Argentina 3-2 in the final of the men’s football tournament, thus became the first African country ever to win football gold medal at the Olympics.
To mark these great strides and others recorded by Nigerian athletes globally, the Community Sport and Educational Development Initiative, CSED rolled back the years in a bid to use sports to promote literacy in Nigeria.
This is following their making their fictual/pictorial comic book: “Nigerian Golden Legends,” available for free download on their website.
The 40-page comic book tells the story of the exploits of Nigerian athletes at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
The comic book which was first published in 2016, show graphic images of members of the Nigerian men’s football team, golden girl, Chioma Ajunwa; Flilat Ogunkoya, Mary Onyali and Duncan Dokiwari.
Though it was mainly written in English Language, the Nigerian sports fans had their say in Pidgin English; Chioma Ajunwa sang a song in her native Igbo language, while the Brazilian fans expressed their temporary joy in Portuguese language.
Since Nigeria’s first attended the Olympic Games in 1952, Atlanta 1996 is Nigeria’s best performance in the Olympic Games. It is also the last time Nigeria won an in competition Olympic gold medal (apart from the IOC formally withdrawing the US 4X400 metres Sydney gold medals from the USA Team and awarding it to Nigeria on 2 August 2008).
The 31 July 1996 semi-final victory over Brazil did not only trigger wild celebration all over Nigeria, it gave some of our athletes the “can-do” belief to strive higher when faced with adversity. As they say: “the rest is now history.”
Fast forward to 2020, while Nigerian fans wish and hope for better Olympic Games performance from our athletes, it is hoped that our sports administrators would learn that there is no shortcut to success.
CSED founder and Delta State Football Association Chairman, Edema Fuludu told journalists that “The If we do not make the development of grassroots sports a priority by providing Nigerians access to take part in sports at the primary and secondary school levels, we would basically be wasting our time and tax payers money.”
Nigerian Golden Legends could be downloaded for free at: http://www.csedinitiative.com/nigerian-golden-legends.html