Speaking with The Controversy in an exclusive chat, Onyali said though the government had roles to play in seeing to the welfare of the sports men and women after retiring , she insisted her colleagues should learn to carry their destinies in their hands.
The queen of the tracks as fondly called, averred that the squalid life of most famous athletes after retirement should be blamed on their refusal to prepare for retirement.
Though she noted that the government could share out of the blame, the bronze medalist insisted it should not be total .
“I refuse to point 100 percent accusing fingers on the government. The athletes have large roles to play in their own lives which is about 80 percent , while the remaining 20 percent can be traced to the government.” Onyali explained.
According to her, having Nigeria as a platform was a great privilege for any sportsman or woman that had the chance of adorning the nation’s colours.
The ex-international who revealed that her current efforts were geared towards sports development in the country, said in conjunction with ten other former international stars , they were involved in a project aimed at encouraging youths at the grassroots.
“Apart from this I am equally currently into sporting wears called Yali Yali. It is for both profit and non profit. We give to the less privileged for free or at no cost at all.”
Onyali who recalled that her memorable events on the track was when she won the 1996 Bronze Medal in Atlanta Olympics and three Gold Medals she won in Abuja.
“My first was the 96 Atlanta Olympics bronze medal in 200 metres. I felt like, I just fulfilled my wish. The only medal I did not win was the world championship. The second I won was my last race in 2003 in Abuja when I clinched three gold medals”. She enthused.
“Above all, I thank God for everything He has done for me . Despite the fact that I lost my father around age three , God,through my mother, did all for me.”