Daniel Igali (right)

Daniel Igali inducted into Sports Hall of Fame

October 31, 2007

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SFU graduate student and wrestler Daniel Igali (above right), who won Olympic gold for Canada seven years ago, was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame Oct. 25 in Toronto. Igali, a master’s student in criminology, was one of eight inductees into the Hall of Fame.

"This is the ultimate honour," says Igali, who recently returned from his native Nigeria where he is overseeing the logistics of operating a new school built in his home village of Eniwari.

"This award is not only for me, it is for all of my coaches, my training partners, sponsors and supporters who helped me to become an Olympic champion. Most important, this award is a testament to the Canadian spirit of accommodation, and a country that took a risk on an African kid from the margins of human existence. To Canada, I will forever remain grateful."

Igali became a world-class wrestler after leaving his war-torn country in 1994. While in Canada and at SFU, he compiled a staggering 116-0 record. In 1999, he became a world champion in the 69-kg class — the first Canadian ever to accomplish the feat. His Olympic gold medal in wrestling at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney was another first for Canada.

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