If I hadn’t married a sportsman, my marriage would’ve been a disaster – Mary Onyali

Former Nigerian female sprinter, Mary Onyali who won several medals in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, and other international competitions, in a new interview talked about her marriage and her Olympic memories.

If I hadn’t married a sportsman, my marriage would've been a disaster – Mary Onyali lailasnews

Here are excerpts from the interview with Mary Onyali below;

As of the time you became a sportswoman, most parents would not willingly allow their daughters to engage in such. How did your parents react to your career choice?

Sport was popular when I was in high school but it was not something parents allowed their children to do as a career because they did not understand that one could make a career out of it. They did not understand what it took to be a sportsperson and that you could make a living from it. My perseverance helped me to persist and insist that I wanted to be a sportswoman. I was raised by a single mother. I had to convince my mother and uncles beyond reasonable doubts that I wanted to be a sportswoman. I was told by most of my Physical Education teachers, who were from Ghana that I could make a career and life out of it. That was what made me take it more seriously because I knew that being the first child out of four children; my mother would not have been able to fund our education. When I heard that I could be given free education because of my participation in sport, I jumped at the offer. My mother did not understand what I was doing but I thank God that my persistence paid off and now she is proud of me.

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Do you think that if you had not married an athlete, you would have got to the top of your career?

I believe so and my marriage is a plus to my career. I believed that if I had got married to someone who was not sport-inclined, a typical African who would want you to have a regular job or stay at home as a mother; it would have been a disaster. There probably would not have been a marriage at the end of the day because during the courtship, I would have sensed that he was not going my direction and something would have ended the relationship.

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