Okparaebo Inspires Baby Girl With Free Training and Equipment | The Guardian Nigeria News

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Were it not for providence, Ezinne Okparaebo would have been a Nigerian sprinter, dominating the tracks in major international competitions in Africa’s most populous country.

The lady, who has been one of the best sprinters in the world for over 15 years, is considered a pioneer for her adopted country, Norway, for which she has won many international laurels.

Born in Nigeria, Okparaebo was only one year old when she moved to Norway, where her talents, even at this tender age, were discovered by talent hunters in the Scandinavian country.

And since then she has become one of the most famous faces in Norwegian sporting history.

Speaking to The Guardian on her odyssey in the sports world on a short visit to the country, Okparaebo recounted how she went from child prodigy to one of the best in the world at the London 2012 Olympics.

She said: “My talent was first discovered during an athletics day at school, a year after I arrived in Norway.

“We had different events such as the sprint, the long jump and the high jump. I was the fastest girl and the guys were scared to run against me so I ended up running on my own but with the best times of all the kids.

“The teachers then encouraged me to do athletics. “

Okparaebo’s reputation as a champion of schoolgirls drew her to the elite of Norwegian sports. She was barely 17 when she was launched on the international scene by a country that believes so much in her talents.

Although aware of her Nigerian roots, Okparaebo said she had no hesitation in representing Norway internationally, as the best hands of the Nordic country had been grooming her for many years and “he It was therefore natural for me to represent Norway “.

On the challenges she has faced in the country as a black woman, Okparaebo said she never thought about the negative comments and internet trolls about her origin, adding, “In recent years when I course, it’s mostly for fun… to give glory to God with my talent and to inspire others. I do not attach my achievements to any country or to anyone.

While advising future talents to make the most of their talents, Okparaebo said that in athletics nothing is guaranteed.

“You can be great today and be loved by everyone and the next day you’re out in the cold. It’s like working hard your whole life for a few seconds and sometimes you might not be rewarded for it.

“So nothing should be taken for granted because nothing is guaranteed in athletics,” she said.

Right before the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, Okparaebo’s video of scaling a full set of stadium bleachers in just five jumps went viral, showing how athletic and hardworking she is.

For many Nigerian athletic observers, such feats would have been a great motivation for the country’s athletes if she wore the all-green green rather than the Norwegian colors.

She said it would have been an honor to run for Nigeria, however adding that no one had contacted her to represent her country of birth.

“It would have been a great honor to represent Nigeria at one point, but the IAAF made it very difficult to change allegiance. Now the athlete has to wait at least two years to compete for another country in an international championship.

She chooses London 2012 as her bet as a sprinter, because it was “when I became the 10th fastest woman in the world and the best European at the Olympics”.

Okparaebo’s goal for the 2020 Olympics is to take advantage of the process “towards my fourth Olympics.”

Make the most of my training, to improve myself every day and reach the potential that I feel in myself and that I have not yet shown. If I can do all of this, the result will surely come.

Okparaebo does not regret the paths she has chosen in her life, as she believes that every obstacle she has encountered in life has made her a more resilient, stronger and wiser person.

If she wasn’t in sports, Okparaebo said she would likely be a social entrepreneur, adding: “This is what I do alongside being an elite athlete.”

She revealed that she runs an organization in Norway, Ezinne Athletics, “in which we believe that every girl in society, regardless of her ethnicity, should have the same opportunities in sport to have fun, to develop her skills. talents and benefit from an inclusive community. .

“We believe that sport for young people is the best tool for girls to develop their personal motivation, their resilience and a strong appreciation for their own health and well-being.

“To help young girls become future ethical leaders and positive contributors to our society, we provide them with free training and equipment twice a week. “


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