Teenage #Olympian #Ugandan weightlifter Ssekyaaya says, “stage fright overwhelmed me”
The packed crowd at London’s Excel Arena diligently claps heavily to cheer weightlifters as they make their way to the platform.
Urged on by a public address announcer, the applause is to help the lifters carry the heaviest they can before the thousands viewing in the arena, and millions worldwide.
Put simply, they try to help each athlete win gold. For Uganda’s 18-year-old Charles Ssekyaaya, that deafening reception was counterproductive.
He admitted to being a pack of nerves all through and thus couldn’t perform to his best in both snatch and clean and jerk en route to finishing sixth as he exited the Olympics.
In fact Ssekyaaya revealed that he was overawed by competing at the world’s biggest games.
“I have to be honest,” he explained. “I’d been performing well before I came here. I was actually carrying higher kilograms.”
“But when I got here, I became tense. And thereafter, my knees gave way. I developed pains which I wasn’t experiencing before. “I was too nervous. This is a very big stage.”