Nigeria Wrestling brought 7 athletes to Rio for Olympic Wrestling that begins Sunday including a returning World Bronze medalist. It's impressive for the African country considering that Wrestling is not a sport that just allows free passes in mass quantities. All seven of these athletes have qualified for Rio, and the number puts them about middle of the road for the 68 countries that are sending wrestlers to Rio.
If you are wondering about where this success comes from, look no further than their superhero coach, Daniel Igali.
Igali was part of the Nigerian Wrestling team in 1994 when the Commonwealth Games came to Canada. He wisely stayed and filed for political asylum. He then won gold in 2000 at the Olympics at 69 kg beating Lincoln McIlravy in the semis 6-3. Yeah, he knows his way around a wrestling mat.
Now defecting a country in violent disarray for the nice Canadian life and never returning would be perfectly understandable. However, Igali is a superhero so he returned to Nigeria to become the President of their Wrestling Federation. Through his Daniel Igali Foundation, he's built a school and sports academy that has 11 classrooms, plus a gym, library, computer room, and living accommodations.
In 2006, he was also violently attacked at his home by multiple men. He suffered a stab wound to the neck and other injuries. Still, Igali keeps providing better opportunities and awesome World-class coaching for thier wrestlers.
Basically, Igali is awesome and now you know why Nigeria keeps making strides.