Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited has congratulated Nigeria’s Unified Soccer team for emerging the winner of the 7-Aside Unified Soccer tournament, at the just concluded Special Olympics 2015 World Summer Games in Los Angeles, USA.
The team, sponsored by Coca-Cola Nigeria, clinched the Gold medal after defeating the Russian team in an intense final match that was decided on penalty shoot outs after a 2-2 draw at full time. The match ended in a 4-3 victory in favour of the Nigerian team.
To get to the final, Team Nigeria which was the toast of the tournament beat South Africa 6-0, Burkina Faso 3-1 and the highly rated German team by 1-0.
The team’s firing power was evidently buoyed by a month long pre-games training and practice sessions in Ijebu Ode where, under the auspices of Coca-Cola, some of Nigeria’s celebrated football stars including Daniel Amokachi, Emmanuel Babayaro, Peter Rufai and Ifeanyi Udenze volunteered hours of coaching that inspired the players and sharpened their skills for the encounter with teams from other countries.
At the post-match media parley, Team Nigeria Unified Soccer Coach, Stephen Adeyemo dedicated the victory to Coca-Cola Nigeria for the “relentless support, inspiration and belief in the Unified Soccer Team every step of the way – from the inspiring camp visits in Nigeria and here in LA, to the pep talks during matches”.
Speaking on the victory, Coca-Cola Nigeria’s Public Affairs and Communication Director, Clem Ugorji said: “Coca-Cola is proud of the focus, courage and team spirit displayed by the Nigerian Unified Soccer team throughout the tournament which have made this victory possible. More so, that two of our employees George Osadolor and Emmanuel Ekomabasi, are volunteer members of this great team. ”
He added, “The Special Olympics Unified Sports which brings together people living with intellectual disabilities and able-bodied persons to play as team mates and as competitors in sports, is helping to bring down stigmatization and promote acceptance and inclusion of persons living with intellectual disabilities”.
George, one of the two Coca-Cola Nigeria employees who are volunteer members of the Unified Soccer team dedicated the team’s victory to the intense 28-days training back home in Nigeria. “I am excited about the victory which for me underscores the team’s hard work, commitment to training and bonding over 28 days back in Nigeria.”
In other sports the Nigerian contingent to the games also recorded impressive performances. Sunday Olowoniyi and Victoria White won gold medals in table-tennis.
Rasaq Muraina and Jeffrey Olu-Imaferami won gold in badminton; Emuwa Chidubem also won the gold medal in the 500 meters time trial.
Sikiru Sadiq threw a distance of 6.72 meters to win silver in the 4kg division shot put event.
Team Nigeria kicked off campaign at the Special Olympics World Games with Tejumoluwa Ogunlela winning silver in division 15 of the 100 metres.