Observers of the just-concluded Edo 2020 National Sports Festival would not forget Ifiaezibe Gagbe in a hurry.
Gagbe was the Bayelsa swimmer and star of the national tourney who carted home 15 medals.
However, all that glitters are not gold like the popular saying.
The dark-complexioned swimmer opened up on her personal life including how her ex-husband resented her return to swimming.
"I feel so happy winning eight gold medals and 15 medals in all. It's like I'm the only one that came for the competition. Words can't actually describe the way I feel.
"It's all about the money because the last Governor of Bayelsa State paid N1m for a gold medal. The current Governor has not told us what he will pay, but he told us we should go to Benin City, win gold and see what he will reward us with. I know it will be better than the last one and I'm already thinking about the money. It's the money that made me put in much effort and what that means is that I'm N8m richer, excluding the silver and bronze medals," she said.
On why she opted for swimming out of all the available sports, Gagbe explained that she grew up by the riverside and started swimming as a child.
According to Sunday PUNCH, the swimmer went professionally in 2002 when she participated in the age group competition in Ilorin at the age of 12 years.
When asked about her boyfriend or lover, she shrugged before saying she currently has none.
"No, I don't have a boyfriend at the moment, but I was once married. That was in 2015 but we divorced in 2018. I went to the Abuja 2018 National Sports Festival with that trauma because he didn't want me to go back to my sport. I had a baby and my weight was too much for me to return to swimming and I struggled.
"He was against me swimming again, but I went back to doing it and we had some issues after that, which led to our divorce. I went to the 2018 festival with a lot of trauma and I won 14 silver medals, I didn't win any gold. I was so angry because I am a golden girl. So, this time, with my mind settled, I came to Edo and became the golden girl that I am," she said.
Gagbe also expressed worry about settling down again following the trauma of her divorce.
"I honestly don't know, but I know I have to settle down again because I need another baby. Maybe when I see a guy who looks responsible I will give it a thought because there is no harm in trying.
"Being without a man and not having sex has helped me a lot, but sometimes it's not because of sex that athletes don't perform. It has to do with how hard they train because that is the key to every success in life. When you have sex and you train hard, you can still perform at your best but everything still has to be done in moderation," she said.