Interview with Emmanuel Nartey: Olympian, soldier and student
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“I believe I have to be the best in everything I do,” Emmanuel tells me. He has a steely determination that has seen him succeed in his studies, in
When I speak to the young judoka he is in-between two tough training sessions and, as seems to be his habit, working hard.
The Ghanaian-born former Olympian came to the UK from Africa at the age of eighteen to join the army. “From the
You’ll be relieved to hear England is no longer a lonely place for Emmanuel, who is currently undertaking
Having taken up Judo at nine years old, it’s been a massive part of Emmanuel’s life. As a child he tells me his parents didn’t allow him to play football because it kept him away from school; conversely, Judo made him wait around for hours after school to train.
His Ghanaian roots have given the young athlete a focus on helping the developing world as a whole, he says, not just Ghana. He also says it has always been his long term plan to eventually return home.
Elsewhere too Emmanuel’s sporting focus has been tempered with social concern; he says: “Before the 2012 Olympic Games I decided to write my autobiography, the main reason is to inspire the next generation”.
His main aim is to inspire hope, as he says thoughtfully: “In every situation, there is a way out”.
Judo, Emmanuel argues, has given him skills that transfer into every aspect of his life. Discipline, overcoming challenges and focusing on
Emmanuel is keen to recommend judo to others, its ability to build fitness and focus the mind has been invaluable to him and it’s one to watch out for at sporting fresher’s fairs across the country come September.