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60 Nigeria Sports Icons: I’m pained I was not recognised — Ogbeifo–Balofin

Sydney 2000 Olympic silver medallist Ruth Ogbeifo-Balofin has expressed her displeasure for not being recognised among the 60 Nigerian Sports Icons. It will be recalled…

Sydney 2000 Olympic silver medallist Ruth Ogbeifo-Balofin has expressed her displeasure for not being recognised among the 60 Nigerian Sports Icons.

It will be recalled that the federal government on Friday recognized sports icons at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja.

Ogbeifo-Balofin said despite winning laurels for the country at the World Weightlifting Championship, she went further to become the first African woman to win a medal in the weightlifting event at the Olympics.

She said, “I hold no grudge not been among the 60 Nigeria Sports Icons but it is painful that after spending eight hours everyday training, getting injured and recovering, becoming an All African Games Champion, African Champion, World Champion and Olympic Silver medallist, my country still did not deem it fit to recognize me among our sports Icon.

“For record purposes, I am not only a champion in my sport, I have also produced African Games champions in weightlifting through my Ruth Ogbeifo-Balofin Community Project (ROBCOP) in Offa, Kwara State.

“If my country does not honour me, I know God in heaven will honour me. Outside Nigeria, I get treated like a queen whenever they know I won a medal at the Olympics, but in Nigeria, I will have to lobby to get things done.

The former World champion said she will not be discouraged in impacting the lives of less privileged athletes in the country.

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