Maiyegun won a bronze medal in the men’s light middleweight boxing event at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, ending a 12-year winless streak since Nigeria debuted at the Olympic Games in 1952.
He also won a bronze medal at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kinston, Jamaica among several other laurels he won for Nigeria.
Maiyegun, who relocated to Austria in 1971 to continue his professional boxing career, reacted on Monday when he learnt the Director General of the NSC, Dr. Patrick Ekeji, referred to him as ‘late’.
Ekeji, while presenting the champions’ trophy to Team Delta, winners of the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos on Sunday, said the trophy was “named after late Nojim Maiyegun”, causing many to wonder when the boxing legend died.
“I am not dead as some people think. I’m still living in Austria but as an old man, I take things easy. I cannot afford to travel regularly between Austria and Nigeria because of my age. Besides, I will need assistance in Nigeria because I’m blind,”Maiyegun said on the telephone on Monday.
SATURDAY PUNCH had published on December 1 how the 71-year old is longing to return to Nigeria but fears that his blindness may make life more difficult for him at home.
“I’m afraid of coming to Nigeria because I’m not sure I will get the kind of honest assistance I get in Austria. I’ll need a trustworthy person to accompany me all the time, especially withdrawing money from the bank. It will be like starting from the scratch if I return home, but I really want to come back. I hope the government can be of help in this regard,” he had said.