Clovis West grad hoping to represent Nigeria in Summer Olympics

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Shot put standout Nikki Okwelogu qualified for the Olympics with the Nigerian National Team but the country's financial struggles have left her and the other athletes with no other choice but to turn to social media to voice their frustrations. (KFSN)

Clovis West alum Nikki Okwelogu is part of the Nigerian Olympic Team.

But as Action News found out, just getting to brazil is proving to be just as difficult, if not more than qualifying for the summer games.

Okwelogu spends her summer days working out in the Central Valley.

Back at Clovis West where it all started.

The shot put standout qualified for the Olympics with the Nigerian National Team but the country's financial struggles have left her and the other athletes with no other choice but to turn to social media to voice their frustrations.

And it seems to be working.

"They've come out and said, 'Oh, like we're going to pay for you. We never said that we weren't going to pay for you,'" she said. "And so that's kind of confusing because they said they'd pay for us and they said they wouldn't and now they're saying they are again. And I'm not sure they even know how expensive the ticket has come to be at this point late in the game."

Taking no chances, Okwelogu set up a GoFundMe page a few days ago asking for donations to help with getting to the summer games.

At last check, more than $4,000 of the $7,000 requested has been pledged online and all of this attention to her cause has led to a few more face-to-face interactions around town.

"I went to Mimi's Cafe earlier today someone recognized me from the paper, and then a few more people recognized me and before I knew it," Okwelogu said. "She wanted to take pictures with me and it was just crazy, surreal experience. It still hasn't even, I haven't had a chance to like register it."

"We've been working together for 7 years now, we've seen the highs and the lows," Okwelogu's coach Mike Guidry, Jr. said. "We've had the top of the podium and we've also had crying shoulders moments. And you know, she's really come through all of that. This is really the pinnacle of all that training coming to fruition."

The Harvard senior doesn't want to enter this journey alone.

Guidry Jr. has been there from the start and says it's common place for a country to send both athlete and personal coach to an Olympic Games.

Consider it a plus-one, if you will.

Except this very important plus-one is not getting paid to travel.

"Nobody goes on any journey at this level and does it completely alone," Guidry Jr. explained. "There's always people behind the scenes and just as important as it would be in any sport, coaching especially in track-and-field. Especially as technical as the throws are. You've got to have another set of eyes on you."

"If there was a way that people could support him as well, I think, I would be over the moon because he's just so crucial to my training process and my competition mind set and everything," Okwelogu said.
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