Special Olympics Nigeria athletes soar at World Winter Games
by Anthony Nlebem
April 14, 2017 | 12:35 am| | | Start Conversation
L-R: Member Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria, Mr. Misan Eresanara; Member Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria, Mr. Udeme Ufot; Chairman Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria, Mr. Victor Osibodu; Member Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria, Dr. Dolapo Ogunbanwo; Member Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria, Mr. Foluso Philips, Clinical Director, Special Olympics Nigeria, Dr. Remi Durojaiye and Member Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria, Hetty Bakare during the welcome reception for the Special Olympics Nigeria athlete’s from the World Winter Games, held in Lagos
Special Olympics Nigeria athletes at the just concluded World Winter Games in Austria against all odds gave an outstanding performance winning a total of twenty medals.
Twenty two athletes participated at the Winter Games and nine officials. Special Olympics Nigeria athletes won twenty medals; twelve gold medals and eight silver medals.
At an event to celebrate the athletes for their giant strides at the World Winter Games, Victor Osibodu, Chairman Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria praised the athletes for flying the Green-white-Green flag high at the Winter Games in Austria.
“We sent a 3-man delegation to Austria to compete at the Special Olympics Winter World Games. We participated in two novel sports – Unified Floor Ball and Floor Hockey. Our athletes had an amazing time but didn’t forget to bring home the prize. They won the Gold Medal in Floor Hockey and Silver Medal in Unified Floor Ball a total of 20medals (12 gold and 8 silver).”
Osibodu also thanked Special Olympics Nigeria Board members, Sponsors and families of the athletes.
“I would also like to thank our sponsors (Biswal Limited, Caverton Offshore Support Group, Orintory Energy Ltd, IrokoTV, Union Bank Plc and anonymous donors for their support.
“We would also like to appreciate all the family members of the athletes, the coaches, volunteer who dedicated their time and supported their children.
Special Olympics is special to us and we will always give our best to the athletes to ensure that they are always celebrated,” he noted.
Also speaking at the event, Naomi Saliu-Lawal, National Director, Special Olympics Nigeria, commended the athletes for their outstanding achievements at the World Winter Games.
“Their performance was quilt amazing, participating in sports that we are not used to in Nigeria; Floor Ball and Floor Hocking with just three months of preparation, but the athletes did very well by winning gold medals and silver medals. They did very well’’ Naomi said.
Naomi assured that preparations have started to keep the athletes fit ahead of the next Summer Games in Abu Dhabi in 2019.
“Before the Summer Games, our athletes train every week, so the athletes are already training and preparing for the Summer Games holding in 2019. What we do is that, closer to the Summer Games; we have a camp where the athletes train every day. But normally under Special Olympics regulations, the athletes are expected to train every week.”
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