F-L-I-C-K-S! F-L-I-C-S!! F-L-I-C-K-S!!!
Sunbathing in Rio!
The weather in Rio, and indeed the whole of Brazil since the commencement of the Summer Olympics has been favourable. To Nigerians, it has been the same weather back home except that the night is colder.
And we have been basking in the euphoria of the weather with Brazilians almost stripping nude in the name of enjoying the sun. But the weather changed suddenly yesterday. It started with showers of rain coupled with whirlwinds.
Everybody scurried inside and those outside were properly dressed in their sports wears with the names of their countries emblazoned on them.
The night was long. It was weather for two as they say in Nigeria.
I ran into a Nigerian official who asked if I had anything in my room. He was still shaking like one suffering from an epileptic fit.
I disappointed him with my negative answer and he grumbled over the water-tight security wondering why they don’t allow spirits into the Village. “Sir, spirits cannot be held back. They are everywhere in the village’’, I replied.
He turned his fury on me. ‘’Why do you always joke with everything?
I mean hot drink. Sepe. Kaikai. Epeteshi, ogogoro. Can’t you feel the cold? Did you come with your wife?’’, he roared in anger.
This is Brazil. How many churches or mosques have you seen here? If I need Holy Spirit, I’ll go to Nigeria where there are many churches and mosques. Wickedness, yet thrives more in a country known for its sanctimonious pretenses. Please, spare me the agony of the deceptions in Nigeria’’, he sighed.
“I bought hot drinks and hid in my box but their machines figured them out’’, he regretted, still shivering and his teeth now were chattering. A sign of the extent of the cold on him. There are assorted drinks outside but they are not allowed inside the Games Village where the athletes are domiciled. God apparently, sorry, his ancestors saw his predicament and the the following day was different. Bright. Sunny and hot. It was that type of sun that drives Oyibo to go sunbathing or tanning.
And to the pool we headed. There were all shades of colours with yours sincerely the only person dressed up and sunbathing. Men were descent in their dressing.
The women went wild. They dropped almost everything, leaving nothing to imagination. I became uncomfortable.
My heartbeat increased. My eyes riveting. OMG! How can one punish himself in the midst of these bevy of beautiful girls? How can a Nigerian go out for tanning? Skin that had already been tanned by God. I had to wait for everything in me to cool down before I walked away from the Garden of Eden. And my friend? I left him tarnishing or tanning or even punishing himself in the sun.
Am ready with my yellow card, recharge cards
Before the athletes in the Games Village were paid their allowances, their eyes were already red when they heard that the Olympic Football team had been paid 11 days of their more than 30 days in camp.
You could hear sighs and hisses, with both athletes and officials complaining. President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr Habu Gumel doused their fears that all athletes in the Olympics are equal and would be treated equally. Some doubting Thomases did not believe. When the paymasters landed, they were cut in the web on what to use as a means of identification.
Finally, the puzzle was solved when they asked athletes and officials to present their Nigerian international Passports. Some argued that the Olympic accreditation was the best way of identifying them.
But the officials stood their ground. However, one athlete came and was over prepared for the eagle-eyed officials.
He presented his Passport, yellow card, flight ticket and seat number and went a step further to present recharge cards from Airtel, MTN, Etisalat. He said that he wanted to make assurance doubly sure that he was a Nigerian. Everybody roared in laughter and all the athletes were paid.
One man bigger, better than many countries: Phelps broke a 2,168-year-old Olympic record
Michael Phelps won his 22nd gold medal on Thursday, extending his record for the most golds of any Olympian ever. On Tuesday, his win in the 200 meter butterfly made him the first person to win individual swimming gold in Olympic games 12 years apart.
He also became the oldest man to win individual swimming gold, breaking a 96-year-old record set by Hawaiian surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku in 1920.
But there is an even older record Phelps set when he claimed his 13th individual gold by winning his fourth 200m IM on Thursday.
Typically our oldest sports records are at most 75 or 100 years old, so it’s absolutely wild to think of a sports record that spans millennia. But if we consider today’s modern Olympics to be an extension of the ancient games held in Greece, Phelps has now set a record.
Talk of one man who has accomplished more than many countries in their Olympic history. Many countries are here praying and hoping for one bronze medal, but an individual has a cluster of gold medals.
Brain teasers on the Olympics
There are 206 countries participating at the Summer Olympics here in Brazil with more than 11,000 athletes. I’ve been trying to figure out the acronyms of some countries seeing them on the tracks of their athletes. It’s not an easy thing and I decided to engage an official from Nigeria as we sat at the Welcome Centre where athletes were streaming out.
Take for instance NGR means Nigeria. RSA for Republic of South Africa. USA, no doubt, everybody knows that. It means United States of America (Not United States of Nigeria as one prominent Nigerian ignorantly advertised).
What then does KSA represent? My friend laughed and said it was so simple and that I should ask him one that would task his brain. After protesting, what we call IGI in Lagos, which means Initial Gara-Gara, he told me that KSA means King Sunny Ade. Initially, I thought he was joking until he agreed to bet with me.
KSA means Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I rolled on the floor laughing and asked him if Sunny Ade was a country or he was coming to perform for the closing ceremony?. Laughter later turned into anger. I had to beg him and promise not to put his name in print. If you think it is that easy, try to work on these ones below.
AND. ALB. ASA. ARU. BAN. CAY. CAF. COK. KIR. KGZ. LIE. MDV. MHL. MGL. MYA. SUR.
The answers are: AND = Andorra. ALB = Albania. ASA = American Samoa. ARU = Aruba. BAN = Bangladesh. CAY = Cayman Islands. CAF= Central Africa Republic. COK = Cook Islands. KIR = Kiribati. KGZ = Kyrgyzstan. LIE = Liechtenstein. MDV = Maldives. MHL = Marshal Islands. MGL = Mongolia. MYA = Myanmar. SUR = Suriname.
Wow! How many did you get? Are you sure you did not call CAF- Confederation of African Football?
L’a amour conquiert tout (Love conquers all)
“Don’t wake me up, because I’m dreaming’’. That is how athlete Isadora Cerullo described the moment. Someone not in the know may well imagine that all these happiness came from an Olympic medal.
No way. It wasn’t even necessary to climb the podium for the Brazilian athlete to break into a broad smile. The qualification of the rugby 7s team for the World series was crowned by a romantic climax.
After the delivery of the medals, Izzy received a marriage proposal from girlfriend Marjorie Enya. This story from Village people caught my fancy and I looked deeply to see the man but it was a picture of two girls holding tight to themselves. Goodluck to them. After all, the main message of the Olympic Games is about diversity and respect. The goal is to build a better world.