London. British athlete Marilyn Okoro, originally from Nigeria has begun preparing for her #Road2Rio. Okoro took part in the just ended Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
“I was so humbled by the overwhelming support and encouragement I received during and since the games. This spurred me to dig even deeper for my dream.
“There was strong sense of support for each and every participant in the commonwealth and i was no exception! We cannot achieve greatness alone, there is always a formidable team backing anyone who even attempts, furthermore achieves the highest accolades of success.
“So thinking ahead to the next exciting cycle of track and field; world championships in Beijing, of course the big one Rio 2016 Olympics and not forgetting the action returning to London at 2017 world championships; So I need YOUR help to kickstart my #Road2Rio!” she said.
At the moment Okoro is focusing on raising funds so she can participate as a full time athlete. The aim is to raise £10 000 needed to kickstart her winter training out in Orlando Florida to join her coach and training partners ahead of the 2015 season.
An elite athlete can expect to spend 15,000-20,000 per year on training costs such as; living expenses, Coaching and gym fees, travel and transport, medical support, equipment, diet and nutrition.
The determined and dedicated Okoro has been self funding her athletics career for the past two years as she no longer qualifies for the much appreciated Lottery support that assisted her and her family during the 2008- 2012 Olympic cycle.
Contributions received will go a long way towards supporting Okoro live more of an elite athlete lifestyle.
Okoro described how athletes have to make sacrifices: “As athletes we make sacrifices daily in many aspects of life and we are prepared to challenge ourselves to our limits for our passion. Financing this passion for me is just another obstacle to overcome and not prevent me from fulfilling my potential.
“Funds raised will enable me to give 100% to my craft in order to maximise my performance on the track. My biggest expenditure after flights and car rentals is easily medical. With consistent medical support and uninterrupted periods of training I believe I can fully maximise my new training regiment and find true consistency on the track. It`s really that simple ‘Proper Preparation prevents poor performance”
Okoro has been fortunate enough to have experienced two Olympics, both with very contrasting emotions.
In 2008 she made it to her first Olympic team only to the bitter disappointment of been sidelined at the London Olympics in 2012.
“This was the toughest experience of my life, I questioned everything, but I believe everything happens for a reason and I refused to let this experience break me.
“I was also taken off the world performance programme which supports GB athletes financially but I believe even more valuable is the medical assistance, deemed no longer an ‘in form athlete or a podium potential’ at 27years old, despite topping the British Rankings and consistently running sub 2 mins that season and a British 600m record to boot”
Believing the best was yet to come from her and after careful consideration, Okoro took the huge step to move to Los Angeles and later Orlando her current training base to be coached by and train with the USA’s best, Johnny Gray the American 800m Record Holder.
Okoro described how she saved and spent all her savings over the last 18 months in doing so and despite the struggles has no regrets, because she will always take the ‘at least’s’ over the ‘what if’s’’.
“I recognize and fully respect the industry I am in. It is cut throat and competitive. I also know I am not alone in the fight to be the best. To be the best you have to persevere in adversity and accept the tests and challenges as they strengthen you. When it`s time to compete seize all opportunities whenever they arise.
“I also believe life is about more than what you can take, but perhaps more importantly it`s about what you can give back I am extremely grateful for the platform I am given as a Sports woman. It motivates me to be able to inspire and encourage people through my gifts and talents. Any opportunity I can I relish the opportunity to pay it forward whether by giving motivational speeches, running kids camps or boot camps for adults, one on one personal training sessions or even just a motivational tweet to encourage and uplift” she added.
Okoro is appealing to well wishers to contribute towards her preparations for Rio, donations can start from as little as £1, even a tweet of encouragement and simply sharing her story will go a long way.
Okoro has also raced alongside the legendary “Maputo Express” Maria Mutola in the 800m where okoro came second after Mutola. See video:
Please use the link below to contribute or donate:
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