AS the zero hour approaches for the all-important athletics events of the London Olympics, which start today, the Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, has reminded Team Nigeria that no athlete could achieve success without discipline, good attitude and sacrifice.
The minister, who spoke to the contingent yesterday, warned that no athlete could achieve success without discipline, stating: “Where there are difficult personal relationships, discipline is down and it is difficult to succeed.
“We don’t want you to lose but if you must lose, it must not be to other factors outside the pitch – like staying out late at night. No country can succeed with bad attitude.
“We are here because of Nigeria. If we take pride in our country, it comes first and we should learn to make sacrifices. I saw 15-year-olds, 19-year-olds defy impossibilities and make sacrifices as teenagers.
“This is first about you. People still remember Nojeem Maiyegun, who won the first Olympic bronze medal for the country in 1964. We remember him but none of you can remember who was the minister of sports in 1964. I was not born then but we remember Maiyegun because of what he achieved.
“They achieved immortality. If you win, you will always be remembered, but nobody will remember the minister of sports.
“Nigeria has won medals since Barcelona Olympics and I pray that you will not be the generation of athletes who will break that order by not winning a medal. You stand on the threshold of history and we still have great chance to do well.”
Responding, Nigerian team captain, Chika Chukwumerije, thanked the minister and his team, stating that his advice has been well received. He assured that Team Nigeria would get things right in the remaining 10 days.
“We must believe in our heart what we want to achieve and by August 12, Team Nigeria