The Medal

November 17, 2011
This was the moment I had been waiting for, the award ceremony. Where I would finally get my gold medal. This was the moment I had been waiting for all my life, since I was a kid and watched the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics. I heard the announcer’s voice through the speakers, “The following medals are for the 400 meter race”. I saw three guys, my rivals arrive to the podium. One of them was Tyson Gay, the other was Roberto Moreno and the third one was Jujitsu Mashao. I could have been there. I could have had the glory they were having, but this was not my fate. I watched painfully how these three tall athletes leaned forward and got their medal placed around their neck. Their look of happiness was just so fulfilling. But, that could have been me. I could have been as happy as them.

“These are your 2012 400 meter medalists!” shouted the announcer. Everybody clapped at them, including me, as they stood one taller than another in the podium. Tyson Gay was standing over the huge number 1, with a sparkly gold circle hanging from his neck with a blue strap. He was enjoying that moment so much. I was so envious of him. I wanted to be Tyson Gay so badly, but instead I was Frank Ganga. I couldn’t stand the jealousy I had toward Tyson. He was glorious. I thought, “I could have been up there, standing in the place where he is. Filled with happiness, just as he was. I thought to myself, “Why did I have to slip? Why couldn’t I just run as I had done in the training? I had practiced so much for the race and I had blown it.” However I realized that it didn’t make any good to keep criticizing myself and I forgot about the past.

As the medalist walked down the podium, through the isle and into the seats, meanwhile I got together with Deljuan James, Theo Jonson and Chad Adams. We waited patiently until the announcer began talking once again. “ The next event is the relay race. United States,” he called. “Please come up. The American team walked up, led by Tyson gay. They were dressed with a blue jacket with three stars at the back. They received their medal and stood by the spot labeled, “3” in the podium.

Then, they called Jamaica. The Jamaican team was dressed with a yellow, bright jacket., with green stripes. They were lead by Usain Bolt, followed by Asafa Powell. They got their silver medal. It was evident that they weren’t happy with it. But in sports, there can only be one winner. And luckily that winner was my one and only Nigeria.

We got called up, with the crowd cheering like crazy. We were all uniformed with bright green jackets with the word NIGERIA across the chest, and the emblem on our left, by our heart. I led the way of my team, until we got to the table were the medals were. I stopped for a moment, and shook the commissioner’s hand. Then I bowed and he put the gold medal around my neck. The medal was cold, but I would have never taken it off at that moment. I took the medal and put it closer to my eyes. As I focused on the medal, I read, LONDON 2012 RELAY RACE.

We walked onto the podium, and climbed up to the highest spot, labeled with a 1. I stood there, with my teammates and a new “bling” around my neck. It was evident that I would never forget this scene. I remember everything, the looks of the others, the claps, and specially what I achieved. This was the feeling I had always desired, having the medal around my neck, close to my heart.

I had a million thought bouncing around in my mind.. However, what had the most attention was the feeling of taking a gold medal to Nigeria. As a small country, we don’t get a lot of medals and this one was really going to make Nigerians proud of their nation. I could picture it in my mind, as soon as we walked out of the plane and set foot in Nigeria, we saw them, thousands of people together, screaming, proud to be Nigerians. All of that was going to happen, just because of this object hanging on me.

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