Nigerian athletes have taken to social media, to solicit for funds in order to compete at next month’s Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
American-born sprinter, Regina George, who participated at the 2012 Olympics, has opened a page on gofundme.com and is seeking to raise $4,000. Her plea is ‘Help me get to the Olympics’.
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 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 in the Olympics. Any donation will help my situation. This will not go unnoticed and I’m truly grateful for my supporters. Help spread the word!”
Regina only began to compete in Nigerian colours in 2012, after anchoring the US 4x400m team to gold at the 2010 World Junior Championships. She is expected to run at the same event in Rio next month.
Antwon Hick, a Nigerian hurdler, has also set up a GoFundMe campaign as well. He is trying to raise $5000.
He said: “I’ve battled nagging injuries, missed teams by one thousandth of a second, and have slept on many a friend’s couch to pursue my dream.
“Every dime will go towards training, vaccinations (I’m sure you’ve heard of the current situation in Brazil) rehab and travel.”
The current fastest man in Nigeria, Seye Ogunlewe, also took to Twitter and urged corporate organizations to assist them.
Colin Udoh, the former media officer of the Super Eagles, tried to explain the situation on Twitter. He posted: “As I understand it, N2.9bn was released in 2015 for Olympic preps. Never got to athletes. PMB refused to release any more w/out account.”
Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, insists that money will be released on Monday.
TeamNigeria has 49 male and 29 female athletes, who will participate in 10 sports at the Olympic Games.