Condemnations have continued to trail the delay by the Nigerian authorities in releasing funds to the country’s contigents, billed to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympics, holding in Brazil between August 5-21, 2016.
Some Nigerian athletes billed to participate in track and field events at the Olympics, on Friday, took to various social media platforms and online crowd-sourced funding platforms to solicit for funds to fly them to the competition.
Some of the athletes who could not hide the shame of missing out in the competition, after about four years of preparation, owing to delay in releasing funds for them, begged well-meaning Nigerians to come to their rescue.
The athletes were American-born Nigerian sprinter, Regina George; Nigeria’s fastest man and 100m Champion, Seye Ogunlewe jnr.
George specialises in the 400metres. She represented Nigeria at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was the silver medalist at the African Championships in 2012.
George who tweets via @DivaOnTheTrack took her request of $4,000 to a crowd-sourced funding platform, gofundme.com.
She wrote: “To all my family friends and fans thanks for being here for me through the good times and bad times. This year it’s been hard financially for me but it wouldn’t have been possible without your support.
“I just been told that we will have to pay our own way to the Olympics this year. Sadly this is such short notice for me to come up with the money.
“They (Sports authorities) also promised a refund but I’m still waiting for many refunds promised in the past. I been through a lot of obstacles this year and through it all I made my SECOND Olympic team. I don’t want to stop now after I earned a spot to represent my country (Nigeria) in the Olympics. Any donation will help my situation. This will not go unnoticed and I’m truly grateful for my supporters.”
At the time of filing this report, George had gotten about $640 from spirited donors.
On his part, Ogunlewe who tweets via @seyeogunlewe said: “Just so every one knows. We all got that message saying we should get our own tickets to Rio, #helpnigerianathletes.”
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, had last Tuesday, while hosting the Olympics contigents in Aso Villa, assured that his administration would ensure that the fund budgeted for the Rio Olympics is released without further delay.
Vanguard could not ascertain if the said fund has been released as at the time of filing this report.