Nigeria Power lifters, Champion of Champions By Dare Gbadebo
I had the opportunity to witness some aspects of the 9th Fazza Para-Powerlifting World Cup, Dubai 2018, which commenced on the 17th of February, till the 22nd of February 2018, at Dubai Stadium, UAE.
A very beautiful moment to be part of, as the Nigerian team which comprised of Head Coach, Oluwakemi Oyebola and Power lifters, Paul Kehinde, Stella Onyema, Roland Ezuruike and Shade Oluwafemiayo performed amazingly well, with all the athletes winning a gold medal each as expected, meeting all target.
What I witnessed at the event, made me a proud Nigerian, getting to realize how much respect the powerlifting world has for the Nigerian team. Against all odd, Dubai government and some private sponsors made it possible for the Nigerian team to be part of the competition unfailingly, as Nigeria’s government was not forthcoming in funding the athletes to the event.
The Nigerian team which were flown on an Emirates airline were lodged at a porch residential apartment along Al Nahda, Quasis, Dubai by UAE government, while the apartment was made close to the stadium for obvious logistic reasons.
The opening ceremony on the 17th of February had Paul Kehinde representing Nigeria carrying the country’s flag among 32 other countries, as 33 countries were at the event contesting for gold.
Shade Oluwafemiayo, world champion representing Nigeria could be seen on a flex banner at the team’s residential apartment entrance displaying a gold medal she won at a past powerlifting event. What more respect could the team or country be given at the event?
I want to use this opportunity to seek support for the Nigerian powerlifting team, board members, coaches and athletes, they need more support from individuals, corporate organizations and the government most especially. This is a team and particular sport that has earned Nigeria more gold medals than football and the Super Eagles team, altogether. God bless Nigeria!
Managing Editor, Naija Online TV(NOTV) blog