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While Some people don't have it, some people don't sweat it; you choose where to stand!
sherifdeen adeyemi-2011
This story is not unfamiliar. It has been told; there is little doubt about that. But it shall be told again, this time by another who deals not with folktales and fables but reality!

When Rohullahi Nikpa entered the ring for his final taekwondo match, people were surprised! His country was in turmoil. But they awe they felt would have been doublefold if they knew his family had to leave the country during the peak of the blood conflict; they knew not that this 25-year old was in a refugee camp when he began learning the art. As at the time of writing this, his country is the world's most dangerous including the largest producer of refugees and asylum seekers! Nikpa was not deterred even when he has never trained outside his country, because only Failures had excuses; rather, when he won the bronze medal for the second time in two consecutive olympics, he gave an excuse for winning. He said " I hope this will send a message of peace to my country after thirty years of war" Nikpa is an Afghan!

Two hundred and four countries participated in the London 2012 summer olympics and only 65 made it to the medals table- that is less than halve of the participating countries. But a keener look at the table revealed a haphazardous array of countries with different and peculiar hindrances. Infact, a sane mind can be forced to question how such countries even managed to be present! And there they are not only present but also starring you in the face on the medals table! There are countries on that table that have fought for thirty six years and counting; where thousands have died that the Government is only interested in the end of the war for a start; countries with an incredibly high poverty level that it's antagonosing living. Nations where it is no exaggeration that people must die from a natural disaster yearly!, Nations with literally no natural resources yet landlocked!

So, when a female Nigerian spirinter blitzed and bolted into the 100m final in style with a qualification time second only to that of an olympic Gold medallist and the eventual bronze medallist in that race; and that she "played" into the final; picking-up late and finishing lightly. Okagbare was good, that was obvious. But guess her position in that final race; last! And that was just the beginning of disappointment though for those who still keep hope with the country. I was the least surprised because I had fore knowledge of the long standing romance between the country and her Bride; Failure. The next morning, Okagbare's mum ran to the media and proclaimed that it was witches and wizards that stopped her US trained daughter from winning a medal from that race! Is it not true that only Failures keep throwing up excuses? Nigerians have mastered that art! If not for that long standing relationship with Failure, how else can you explain athletes of Nigerian origin winning medals in the colours of another country? They now posses a new spirit not just in colour but in mind. And when it became so obvious, even to a bigot Nigerian that the hope of winning a medal is but lost, they brought out an encyclopedie of exceses; ones which will only get at Failures, and one obviously clueless man appeared in the news-his name Jonathan or something- promising Eden on earth for whoever brings back a medal. I'm sure after the promise, he would not stop laughing; nobody would bring back anything, he knew! How would they belie the true creed of their nation?Let's just play to the Gallery. As expected, he was right. The closing ceremony was a mere dance of shame in public glare. The self proclaimed Giants of Africa had only one medal to display and it was that of shame!

So, no amount of excuse is enough to fail as there is none that can be brought forward peculiar to the country alone! Countries with bigger challenges were represented on that table. Winning is simply an attitude! You either have it or not. But one excuse actually caught me off guard- mediocres have them in abundance- Nigeria with its medallion of shame dangling from her neck hugged her lover tightly, smiled and said "after all, the ultimate aim of the olympics is not to win but to participate" Is the olympics not a meeting of champions?" Hmm. I'm still laughing! But it's cool, let them keep winning and let us keep making up the numbers and excuses. See you in Rio.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Adeyemi Sherifdeen and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."