LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
Posted: Jul 27, 2012
The Games of the XXX Olympiad officially gets underway today in London with Team Nigeria athletes among the over 10,000 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) that have been confirmed to participate.
The opening ceremony,valued at E27m will be officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
There will be a parade of nations among other eye-catching events lined-up tonight with Greece,according to custom,leading the parade, followed by other competing countries in alphabetical order and finally the host nation Great Britain.
The 2012 London Olympic programme will feature 26 sports and a total of 39 disciplines.
For the first time, women’s boxing is included in the programme, with 36 athletes competing in three different weight classes. There is a special dispensation to allow the various shooting events to go ahead, which would otherwise be illegal under UK gun law. In Tennis, mixed doubles returns to the Olympic programme for the first time since 1924.
Team Nigeria first participated in the Olympic Games in 1952, and has sent athletes to compete in every Summer Olympic Games since then, except for the boycotted 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal,Canada.
Nigerian athletes have won a total of 23 medals,mostly in athletics and boxing.The national football team won the gold medal in 1996.
Team Nigeria’s challenge for medals at the London Olympics will be spearheaded by two athletes who won individual medals for the country at the last edition in Beijing.Chika Chukwumerije who has been named Team Captain for this Games won a bronze medal in Taekwando while Blessing Okagbare,named his assistant also won a bronze medal in the long jump.
Nigeria will be participating in eight events-Athletics,Canoeing,Basketball,Weightlifting,Table Tennis,Boxing,Wrestling and Taekwando.
Among the star attractions for this Games will be the confrontation between Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake in the men’s 100m event in athletics as well as the women 100m where Nigeria’s Okagbare is seen as one of the huge favourites for the gold medal.
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