My husband dumped me with two kids for refusing to quit athletics – Nigeria’s Olympic sprinter

My husband dumped me with two kids for refusing to quit athletics – Nigeria’s Olympic sprinter
Patience Okon George of Nigeria reacts after Heat 1 Reuters / Lucy Nicholson

Sprinter Patience Okon-George who represented Team Nigeria at the just concluded Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has expressed the pain of taking care of two children after her husband left the marriage over her refusal to quit athletics.

Okon-George who made her second Olympics appearance completed the quartet of Emmanuel Ojeli, Imaobong Nse Uko and Samson Nathaniel who set a new African Record (AR) of 3:13.60 when they finished fifth in their semi-final race.

When asked if she was married, Okon-George revealed that she "used to be but not anymore, but I have two lovely princesses (girls). My first girl is 15 years and currently in Senior Secondary School 1 while my last born is 13."

On the ordeal with her husband, the sprint star revealed that "He walked away because he did not want me to continue with athletics, but that has always been what I wanted to do. Athletics gave me everything and I could not imagine myself doing something else. I almost thought of quitting because as at that time, I told my then-husband that I would consider his options if he set up a lucrative business for me, which he did not do eventually. He left me when my second baby was just over two years.

"He left us in 2010 and stopped being responsible ever since then. So, I had no choice but to focus on my game and work hard to give my girls a better life. It was rough and tough at first, but I got used to it."

On how she will feel if any of her kids want to venture into athletics, she replied, "Yes, if they want to. My second daughter has the talent. She loves it a lot and helps me with timing during my trainings. She calls the shots when I train personally and I intend to help her grow in athletics. But that is up to her if she wants to take after her mother. The elder one is a bookworm; she loves reading a lot."

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