Daniel Igali

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Daniel Igali
Medal record
Men's freestyle wrestling
Representing  Canada
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2000 Sydney Lightweight (69 kg)

World Championships
Gold medal – first place Ankara 1999 Freestyle 69 kg

Baraladei Daniel Igali (born February 3, 1974 in Eniwari, Bayelsa State, Nigeria) is a Canadian freestyler wrestler who is an Olympic gold medallist. He lives in Surrey, British Columbia.

Wrestling career[edit]

As captain of the Nigerian wrestling team he came to Canada to compete in the 1994 Commonwealth Games. He remained in the country while seeking refugee status due to political unrest in Nigeria. He acquired citizenship in 1998.

In Canada, Igali won 116 consecutive matches wrestling at Simon Fraser University from 1997 to 1999. He placed fourth at the 1998 world championships. He finished second at the 1998 World Cup and won a bronze medal at the 1999 Pan American Games. He was coached by Nasir Lal, two-time Canadian olympian from Afghanistan.

At the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Igali won a gold medal in the Men's 69 kg freestyle wrestling. He represented Canada at the world stage. At the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Igali won a gold medal in the Men's 74 kg freestyle wrestling. In 2007, Igali was inducted into the Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.[1] He was later inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2012.[2]

His wrestling career is highlighted in a television documentary directed by Joel Gordon called, "Wrestling with Destiny: The Life and Times of Daniel Igali". The biographical documentary film was broadcast by CBC Television in 2004 as an episode of the Life and Times (TV series).[3]

Igali became president of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, creating the highest morale athletes for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and highest medal hopefuls for Nigeria at the Games. The Nigerian team has otherwise lacklustre morale outside of wrestling.[4]


On February 10, 2005, Igali announced that he would seek nomination as a candidate in Surrey-Newton for the British Columbia Liberal Party in the 2005 provincial election in British Columbia. He won the nomination, but was defeated by New Democrat opponent Harry Bains in the election.


He completed a Master of Arts degree in criminology at Simon Fraser University, having previously attended Douglas College. While working on his master's degree, he trained at SFU and liked to help coach. Igali is currently[when?] the coach of the Nigerian National Wrestling Team.[5]

In November 2006 Igali was injured during a violent robbery while in Nigeria.[6]


  1. ^ "Daniel Igali". Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Inductees Announced". olympic.ca. June 12, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  3. ^ "A teacher must grapple with the idea of playing a villain". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  4. ^ Segun Odegbami (3 March 2018). "Nigerian heroes of the Winter Olympics". The Guardian – Nigeria.
  5. ^ http://olympics.thestar.com/2008/article/48095
  6. ^ B.C. Olympic gold medallist Daniel Igali was stabbed and beaten by four armed robbers while visiting Nigeria, the country of his birth. Archived 2016-03-24 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]