Dream team, others are Olympic heroes —Dalung

Mikel Obi and coach Samson Siasia displayed the cheques presented to them by the Japanese fans, Katsuya Takasu in Rio

Following the bronze medal winning feat of the Dream Team VI at the Rio 2016 Olympic games, the Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung has described the players and coaches as the “real heroes” of the games after defeating Honduras 3-2   in the 3rd place match played on Saturday.

An elated Dalung while reacting after 2 goals from Umar Sadiq and a goal from Aminu Umar said that the team coached by Samson Siasia has given Nigerians something to smile about at a time when many people had lost hope in Team Nigeria’s ability to win any medal at the Rio Games.

“I want to commend these brave heroes who against all odds surmounted all obstacles to finish  at the tournament as the third best team in the football event.  They are the real heroes of this Olympics. They showed determination in the face of challenges and set all aside to win this Golden bronze”

According to Dalung, the victory is a testimony to the unrelenting Nigerian  spirit and our belief as a nation never to give up in the face of stiff opposition and adversity.

Responding to questions on  the future of the Dream Team VI, Dalung said, “I believe the nucleus of the future Super Eagles can be built around this under-23 side who performed creditably well despite the numerous challenges before and during the games. This victory is symbolic. It came at the right time and it is the beginning of something new in Nigerian sports.”

“On the overall, Nigeria placed 75th out of 205 participating countries. We could have done better but we will now have to go back home and bring all stakeholders on board to begin planning and preparations for the next games.

“In the recent history of Nigeria’s participation at the Olympics, we went with a smaller contingent of 75 athletes who participated in 8 sports, including a few coaches and ministry officials who were in Rio for administrative purposes in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s directives.

“The players  and athletes can attest to the unprecedented level of transparency. Camp allowances were paid directly to the athletes even before the end of the Olympics which has never happened before. Admittedly, there were administrative lapses here and there but we will make up for that in subsequent competitions. For now, we will savour the victory of our ‘golden’ Bronze and celebrate our athletes” Dalung concluded.