The Outstanding Paralympian Wins Gold Medal πŸ… For Nigeria in Tokyo: Pleads For Endorsement and Support

Flora receiving Gold Medal πŸ…, after her victory.

By: Smith Nwokocha

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics that lasted from August 24th, 2021 to September 5th, 2021. It ended well for Nigeria.

Flora, shares her story with Port Harcourt Wakawaka Blog. Excerpt below:

MY JOURNEY TO TOKYO (FLORA U. EKUREDE)

My name is Flora Ugwunwa Ekurede, I’m a Paralympian. I’m one of the athletes that travelled to Tokyo Japan paralympic game. I’m a world record holder and I won a Gold medal in the just concluded paralympic games in Tokyo Japan. I’m from Ozubulu in Anambra state but I’m married to an Urhobo Delta State. The journey to Tokyo started from 2017, that’s immediately after Rio paralympic games 2016. In Rio paralympic games 2016, I won a Gold medal with a world record and that record is still standing till today. But we all know how our country Nigeria works, no endorsement, no adoption.

However, we didn’t go to any competition until 2019. Exactly 3yrs after the paralympic games and this affected everything about my team. We went to Tunis world para Athletics grand prix with four athletes for qualifying, with my performance there, I thought I qualified, but no I didn’t. I won 2 gold medals and a silver medal in Tunis yet I didn’t qualify in Tunis, that was June 2019 and that left me with no option, other than to go to Dubai World Championship in November 2019. I won a silver medal in the Dubai world championship and that was what I qualified with. I didn’t have a sponsor and that became a very big problem to me. This is because, I had several competitions to attend, there was no money for it. I nearly missed out of Tokyo paralympic games, but thank God for the Honourable Minister of Sport, Chief Sunday Dare who step in.

Flora celebrates her victory.

After 2019 championship, corona-virus affected everything, we didn’t go to any competition again, let alone training, because everywhere was locked and we couldn’t train. So the honourable minister organized a batch by batch two weeks camp training for the federations that appeared in the paralympic games in Tokyo Japan. This two weeks camp went a long way in shaping me after a long sit at home, caused by COVID-19. This camp was what assisted me in some of the championship, I attended this year 2021. After a wasted one year, because of COVID-19. Just before Tokyo, I travelled to Tunis again, that was in February 2021, where I won a Gold medal and a Bronze medal and Switzerland championship in May 2021 and I won three Gold medals there. And when I returned back to Nigeria, few days later, we were put in camp in Abuja for complete three months, here we intensify our training.

At the middle is Flora with her Coach

Edo State Government supported my training with some cash, which I used in arranging the multivitamins, that I used in training and feeding properly when I felt that the food served to me was too cool with me. In the camp, I broke my record severally which made me to have the confidence in me, that I’m going to reset my record in Tokyo Japan, but that didn’t happen. We left Nigeria to Kisarazu in Japan where we had a two weeks training, before the competition proper. This two weeks affected me drastically, the weather there was too harsh, coupled with my health condition which affected me the most. These are the factors that obstructed my setting of another record in Tokyo Japan. But I thank God almighty that all hope was not lost, because at some point I started crying, that things are not going as planned, but I forgot that God knows the best and what God cannot do does not exist. God saw me through all these, both my husband, my coaches, and my federation secretary played a vital role in all these. I’m using this opportunity to call on companies, individuals, good philanthropies in our country and beyond, to please come to my aid for adoption and endorsement, for this will make my journey to France 2023 much easier and perfect. I still remain your girl Flora Ugwunwa Ekurede.

Flora receives her Gold Medal πŸ…

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