Nigeria’s winning coach to the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, USA Bonfere Jo recently cried out on a live sport show broadcasted by the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State Television (BCOS TV) that he is yet to receive his gold medal which was meant for him after leading Nigeria to victory in 1996.
In a live chat with the host Boluwaji Ogunmola, the Dutch tactician let out his displeasure at the Nigerian officials denying him a gold medal after such effort.
“I have not been given the Olympic gold medal we won in 1996. After we celebrated our victory over Argentina at the final, I was prevented from climbing the podium to receive my medal”, he said.
“They said mine was not available. I was annoyed and refused to return with the team to Nigeria. I went to Holland instead.”
It should however be stated clearly that coaches are not awarded medals at the Olympic games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) which is the body that organize and oversee the games only award medals to athletes alone.
The only coach that was given a medal was Herb Brooks at the 1980 games in New York, USA. USA men’s hockey team coach Herb Brooks, was gifted a gold medal from Olympic organizers for ending the Soviet Union’s hockey team winning streak at the games.
Possibly Bonfere Jo might not be aware of this. He did a great job for the country leading the most populous black nation to her first and only gold medal at the football event.
The Dream Team also became Africa’s first team to win a gold medal in the round leather game in Atlanta.
Beautiful history made with the help of the 74-year-old but Nigeria didn’t deny him any gold medal.
Tit Bits On The Olympic Games
The Olympic games have been in existence since 8th century BC to the 4th century AD and held every four years.
It was inspired by the Ancient Olympic games which were majorly religious and athletic festivals and were held at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, Greece.
The games featured mostly athletics, combat sports such as wrestling and the pankration, horse and chariot racing events.
However, in 1894 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded by Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
The creation of the IOC which is the governing body of the Olympic led to the first ever modern games in Athens, Greece in 1896.
Since then the games has become the dream of many sports men and women.
At the first Olympics in 1896, medals were only awarded to the first and second placed team or individuals. Silver given to first and bronze for second.
These however changed in the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri, USA where the first, second, third were awarded medals in form of gold, silver and bronze.
The trend continued till today though athletes that finished fourth, fifth and sixth also receives certificates known Olympic diploma. The introduction of diplomas to Olympians started at the London 1948 Olympics.
Since the beginning of the modern Olympics in 1894, there have been 28 games hosted by 23 cities.
Tokyo in Japan was set to host the 29th edition this year before a postponement till next year because of the coronavirus pandemic that broke out in March this year.