“After we have done Nigeria proud, we will like to see our President. Most of us are graduates but we are unemployed, we want to see President Muhammadu Buhari because we know he can make us smile for what we have done for Nigeria.”
These were the words of Lucy Ejike, captain of the Powerlifting team to Australia who returned with 4 gold medals and 2 silvers with just 6 athletes.
Despite settling for a silver medal and conceding her world title to her compatriot Esther Oyema in the women lightweight division, she said she is still over the moon as the captain because the gold still came to a Nigerian.
Meanwhile, the new Women’s Para Powerlifting World record holder Esther Oyema, MON, and Commonwealth gold medalist Rowland Ezuruike want an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari after winning gold on Day 6 of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Oyema who lifted 131kg in the Women’s lightweight final to set a new world record said that meeting President Buhari will be a dream come true.
“I feel so excited because it was like a film to me. I was anxious about winning gold at the Commonwealth Games because after the Paralympic Games in Rio, I went to rest.
I had to start the process of cutting down on my body weight because I was already in the heavyweight class and I knew I needed a lot of hard work to shed about 10kg.
My coach Pat Ibite encouraged me so I started training for it. If I didn’t work on my body weight, I wouldn’t have set a new World record today.
“Today I have made sacrifices to make my country proud. I have won Gold and set a 3rd World record. I will like to meet President Muhammadu Buhari and I want him to make us proud too.”
Oyema said that one of the greatest challenges of physically challenged athletes was lack of recognition despite setting World records and called on the President to pat them on the back accordingly.