Indians are so inept at athletics that a nation of over one billion people has won a total of 26 medals in 30 Olympic Games prior to the 2016 game in Rio, Brazil. A breakdown reveals 9 Gold Medals, 6 Silver and 11 Bronze medals. Most of the gold were in field hockey. Apparently, Indians are very adept at manipulating sticks especially curved sticks. While we were growing up, African superstition was that Indians were banned from sporting competitions because of their supernatural powers. In Nigeria, Igbos believe that Yoruba voodoo is more powerful than Igbo voodoo and Yorubas believe that Fulani voodoo is stronger than Yoruba voodoo. Indian voodoo is stronger than all Nigeria voodoo and is not to be played with. Once you announce that your otumokpo (talisman) is from India, you can rule the roost.

India accepting the inferior athletic endowments of its people, has shifted its focus from sports to industrialization, technology, and agriculture. According to an online article in The Economist of September 14, 2015, Indians spent 1.5% of household spending on recreation compared to 10% for Australia in 2013. India, a starving nation in the 1960’s is now self-sufficient in food and exports food to other countries. It is on the right path to becoming a Superpower. Recently it landed a robot on the moon at a fraction of the money spent by other nations to accomplish a similar feat! Nigerians are naturally endowed with athletic ability, but National Character, ineptitude, and greed always mar their competition in any event. Nigerian athletes are not encouraged or motivated. Nigeria cannot boast of a single world class training facility in any sport. Sport administrators view the success of athletes as individual achievements and not National achievements. Lifespan of coaches is less than two years and if you are unlucky to be appointed a coach in Nigeria, expect to be owed one-year arrearage of salary. You may have to sign a document stating that you have been paid in full, but you only received 50% of what you are owed. Guess where the other 50% goes?

I hereby recommend that Nigeria should withdraw from all sporting competitions until she is ready to take sports seriously and reorganize its sports administration from the schools to the National level. The money misspent on competing in International events could better be spent on provision of infrastructure and jobs to its teeming population.

Comments always welcome.

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