The athlete competed despite doctors’ orders.
A Nigerian silver medallist in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games, Obioma Okoli, has expressed her pleasure at winning the medal.
“I’ve never felt this good in my career,” Okoli said in Glasgow according to a press release by Tony Ubani, the press attache to the National Sports Commission.
Okoli won gold medal for Nigeria in the last Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, but according to her, she appreciates her silver medal more than the gold.
“This silver is more precious than gold. In short, it is golden silver,” she said tearfully. “I had a bad injury on my knee. (She pulled up her track to reveal that her knee was bandaged.) My knee cap shifted from my first lift and the pain was so agonising. The doctors took me to ascertain the extent of injury and ruled me out from the rest of the lifts. I was devastated. I felt lonely and could not believe that I will no longer defend my last gold in India. I tried to plead with the medics to find a way to treat me but they warned me not to lift again. I rebuked them.
“But I had that urge in me and I didn’t go back to the medics again as I bore my pain alone. Unknown to them, I went back when my next lift was called. I limped and held the bar bell, looked up to heaven and prayed a silent prayer.
“The crowd roared when I held the weight over my head with one leg. My opponent also lifted the same weight with me but because my body weight was more than hers, she won gold.
“Winning silver with one leg was so amazing that all the lifters could not believe it. The doctors were shocked when they saw me lifting. I did that because of my love for Nigeria and my love for lifting. That is why I think that this silver means everything to me. I am happy.”
The athlete thanked her coaches, colleagues and Nigerian officials who stood by her.
“They knew what I could do when it comes to lifting weight. I dedicate this medal to God for having mercy on me,” she said.