By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
On the same 2 August 1996 date that Chioma Ajunwa won gold in Long Jump at the Olympic Games, Nigeria-born Hakeem Olajuwon was a member of the gold-winning Team USA in the Basketball event.
The American team defeated Yugoslavia 95-69 to win the gold and followed the footsteps of their predecessors – the 1992 Dream Team.
Led by Hall of Fame coach Lenny Wilkens, the team — which featured five players from the original Dream Team (Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, Karl Malone, John Stockton and Charles Barkley) as well as Reggie Miller, Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton, Hakeem Olajuwon, Grant Hill, Mitch Richmond and Penny Hardaway — cruised through the competition en route to a perfect 8-0 record, with wins by an average margin of 32.3 points.
In one of the more recognized moments in USA Basketball history, the team presented Muhammad Ali with a gold medal during halftime of the gold medal game to replace the one from 1960 that he lost.