Daniel Igali

Sports hall of fame to induct Igali

May 17, 2007

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Daniel Igali, Canadian Olympic wrestling champion and SFU graduate student, will be inducted next fall into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Igali won gold for Canada at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia where, in an unforgettable gesture, he bent down from the podium to kiss the Canadian flag. He recently returned from his native Nigeria, where he has established a new school, and is completing a criminology master's thesis on the struggle over regional petroleum resources in the country's Niger Delta region.

The 33-year-old came to Canada as captain of the Nigerian wrestling team during the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria and settled in Surrey while seeking refugee status due to political unrest in Nigeria. He became a Canadian citizen in 1998. Igali won 116 consecutive matches wrestling at SFU from 1997 to 1999. He placed fourth at the 1998 world championship, finished second at the 1998 World Cup and took a bronze medal at the 1999 Pan American Games. Igali still trains at SFU and helps to coach young wrestlers.

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