With her precious silver medal dangling on her chest, she beams her toothpaste smile as she acknowledged banters from her colleagues.
‘’I’ve never felt this good in my career”, Obioma Okoli winner of Nigeria’s silver medal in Weightlifting at the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow said.
She had won gold medals for Nigeria in the last Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. She also repeated her golden lift in Malaysia but seems to appreciate and savour the silver medal more than gold.
‘’This silver is more precious than Gold. In short, it is Golden silver”, she said as tears glistened in her eyes. Using her backhand, she wiped the tears of joy and revealed why she so much cherishes the silver medal.
‘’I had a bad injury on my knee(she pulled up her track to reveal her knee that 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 babel, 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(pointing) means everything to me. I am happy. I am happy”, she said as tears began to drop from her eyes.
‘’I thank my coaches and colleagues and our Nigerian officials. They stood by me. They knew what I can do when it comes to lifting weight. I dedicate this medal to God for having mercy on me”, she said.