The 2016 Summer Olympics have come and gone. Nigeria managed to do a little better than in London 2012, winning a bronze medal in the football event. Phew! We managed to avoid the fate of being the biggest underperforming country at the Olympics – we left that ‘world record’ to Pakistan and India.
As they say on Twitter and Instagram, ‘So shame.’ In our entire Olympic history we’ve earned only 23 medals, including a measly two gold. That 23 is five medals less than Michael Phelps’ individual haul. Just imagine. And we’re 170 million talented, energetic people.
There’s something we’ve got to be able to do about it. One compelling argument is that the Olympics, as currently constituted, are rigged against our type. Running sanitized races on sanitized tracks in sanitized stadiums, is no way to get the best out of us. Fighting over-regulated fencing fights is no way to motivate a Nigerian. The black man blood in us demands different! We all know that!
So that’s where our ‘Solution’ lies: a lobbying campaign to get the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ‘liberalize’ the Olympics, starting from Tokyo in 2020.
Below are a number of ‘sports’ that Nigeria should be pushing for inclusion in the Olympics, if we’re to stand a chance of coming home with a basket-full of medals.
Think Fencing, or Boxing, but with mouths instead of swords or fists. Nigerians can abuse people for the world. In the Olympics this game would be like Fencing, the difference being that the weapon in this case would be the tongue, and contestants would be judged on a number of factors, including but not limited to the speed of abuse, the linguistic inventiveness, and originality.
A variant of this sport would involve ‘greetings’ instead of ‘abusing’, and would (unsurprisingly) be dominated by the Yoruba ethnic group, who have yet to see a condition or scenario that didn’t deserve a colourful greeting. (It is widely known that there are Yoruba salutations for everything from a rise in inflation, or a drop in employment numbers, to news of potential flooding).
If hissing were an Olympic sport Nigeria would be guaranteed at least one gold medal every Olympic Games. Hissing is one of those skills that appears much easier than it really is. Drawing it out for as long as possible while maintaining the maximum potential sound level – all of this under the watchful eyes of a video-aided Referee and in the full glare of hundreds of spectators – is something only a Nigerian would be able to pull off. No jokes!
Creative Urban Driving
This sport would involve a number of things, including but not limited to the following:
- Darking:Expertise in driving a car in total darkness without headlights or nightvision
- Blocking: Parking in such a way and manner as to block the largest number of cars
- Vehicle Weightlifting (aka Vehilifting): The maximum amount of human and freight weight contestants can pile into/onto a car without preventing the car from moving at a reasonable speed.
The most creative displays of physical ability that a contestant can perform while on a moving vehicle. (The ultimate test of flexibility, speed, endurance and strength). Where that vehicle is a car or bus, the gold is ours. Where it’s a train, the best we can aspire to is a silver. That gold belongs to India.
110m Traffic Hurdles
This is just like the 110m hurdles, only that in place of the hurdles barriers, you’d have a motley assortment of stationery and moving cars and motorcycles, mud-filled potholes, uniformed ‘linesmen’ looking to detain or harass, and dust.
Contestants will be burdened with 64kg in ‘cabin’ weights and a minimum of 12kg in ‘hand’ weights and will have to race across a shiny floor, past the deliberate distractions of mischievous public address systems, and past unsmiling referees – who have the powers to disqualify anyone at any time for any reason – to a finish line made up of disgruntled cabin crew outfitted in Olympics colours.
Nigerian musicians have succeeded in showing the world that you can make music out of sounds that other cultures would consider meaningless. Like Iye-ye-ye-ye and Na-na-na-na. After all, music has never really been about the words you use, but instead how you use them. In this ‘sport’, contestants will be given a single phrase (or two at most) and asked to make an impromptu song out of it. Michael Phelps, watch out for David Adeleke!
This is the ideal sports for workers and regular visitors to high-rise government buildings in Nigeria, where the world’s largest collection of stairclimbers can be found. Unlike in the private sector, government facility managers do not regard the prolific use of staircases as a taboo, or the incessant deployment of back-up power generators as a necessity. Were long-distance stairclimbing to be an Olympic sport, Nigerians would be its Ethiopians and Kenyans. (Note that stairclimbing requires a different set of skills from any other type of long-distance running, which is why the East Africans wouldn’t stand a chance beside us).