AS ORPHAN, I CAN’T AFFORD TO FAIL IN LONDON 2012 – BOLTIC
Commonwealth wrestling gold medallist, Sinivie Boltic, has certainly defied some trying times that really touched the heart. First, he had to take the emotional trauma of losing his mother to the cold hands of death, a mere fortnight before the Wrestling World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey, and qualified Nigeria for the London 2012 Olympics in the 96kg weight class.
While he was coming to terms with the heartache of losing a mother, who has been a pillar of strength to him since childhood having lost his father at the tender age of three, fate has once again dealt another cruel blow on the Olympic medal hopeful.
In a spate of two months, Boltic is bereaved once again, and this time, it is the grandmother, Mrs Mati Wonkoya who joined her ancestors, leaving behind her much-beloved grandson. To the African champion, the demise of his grandmother is one loss too many. However, he has vowed to go the extra mile to overcome the devastation of feeling that he is now alone in the world.
He told Sunday Sunsports from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on phone, in an emotion-laden voice that he's now an orphan with no one to care for him. He, however added that the situation not withstanding, he could not afford to fail his late mum, Mrs Dolphina Wonkoya and his yet-to-be-buried grandmother, as long as he lives.
'I've come to realise that life is a school. Everyday, it throws up new challenges either positive or negative,' he began in a chat with Sunday Sunsports. 'Before your call came in, I was just returning from the mortuary, where I went to deposit the remains of my grandmother, who passed on Thursday morning.
'It's unbearable that fate should throw up this kind of challenge to me now, especially when I'm yet to recover from the death of my mother, who died only two months back.
'When I was in camp preparing for the World Championship in Turkey, a week to our departure to Istanbul, I was told that my mother had died and I had to leave camp to hurriedly perform her burial rites in the village. It wasn't an easy decision to make, but I had no choice because I have only a younger brother to live with. Being the first son, everything was put on hold until I arrived in the village. 'You can imagine the trauma of mourning your parent as well as training for a major international competition. I managed to put it behind me and went on to secure an Olympic ticket for my weight class in London 2012. Now, my grandmother is no more and it feels like the whole world is against me because the pain is much.
'Sometimes I ask myself; how would I go on? From where do I get the strength to forge ahead? Somehow, I know that I can make something good out of their memories and that is what I'll focus on before the Olympics.
'As an orphan, I cannot afford to fail the spirits of my mum and grandmother in London 2012. The loss of a loved one is a pain that never fades. So, I must win a laurel at the Olympics to keep their memories alive,' he vowed.