‘I Won’t Represent This Country Again’ – Mariam Usman Blasts Nigeria

Even before she left the shores of Nigeria for Brazil, Mariam Usman knew that winning a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics would be a tough call.

The Commonwealth medallist in the +75kg in weightlifting says she has lost the urge to represent Nigeria at international events. Mariam was the only weightlifter that represented Nigeria here in Rio.

She competed in the +75 category and amassed 265 kg. She finished 8th in her group.

“It is painful to come to the Olympics and see people who are your contemporaries perform better than you; not because you lack the ability but because you were not prepared like them,” she said, while speaking to reporters at the Games Village in Rio.

“For me, it is not just about jumping unto the plane every four years to go to the Olympics. Every athlete you see here wants to step on the podium. If you can’t aim to climb up there, you have no business coming to the Olympics. I can only consider going to another Olympics if things change for the better. But if the status quo is maintained, I don’t think I will go to another Olympics again.”

“It is painful that one has to suffer and when competition comes they expect you to win a medal with your blood. “The people you have to compete with had everything they needed: training grants, competitions and are exposed to the most modern equipment. I had nothing. You don’t expect such people who have invested so much to lose to one who don’t even train adequately.”