Although his team did not qualifiy for the quarterfinals, Dami has thoroughly enjoyed these Olympics playing in front of British fans, who showed up in force at Earl’s Court. This proves that volleyball has potential to grow and become a more popular sport in this country dominated by football, cricket and rugby.
“Everybody I spoke to really enjoyed the volleyball. They may not understand all the rules, but they really like it and want to come again. They say it’s exciting and fun to watch, tense and full of energy” says Dami. Fans are also recognising him on the streets of London. “I’ve been spotted a couple of times” laughed Bakare.
“At the moment we’ve just set the bar and showed people we have an athletes who can beat top teams. Maybe not beat them yet, but we have the potential to be great team. If we keep working this way, in 5-10 years we will be able among the top 10 teams and challenge them” hopes Dami.
The Olympic FIVB Hero currently living in London has previously played professionally in Belgium for two years. At the moment he is looking for his next contract and hopes his performance at the Olympics will help him in finding a club.
He is not just a player but also a fan, and follows various national leagues, as in his opinion it is good to know who you you may come up against. His favourite teams to watch were Brazil and Argentina, but Dami is most happy he could play against Bartosz Kurek, an Olympic FIVB Hero from Poland, who is similar in age to himself.
“I have a lot of respect for him. I know he is a great player and adored by Polish fans and I had to play against him. He has worked hard to get to the position he is at the moment, and done a lot for volleyball in the past few years and I hope a lot of people can see that” said Dami praising his rival.
Although his the Olympic is over for his team, Dami will stay in the Olympic Village to follow other sports as well as the rest of the volleyball too.
We look forward to seeing this Olympic FIVB Hero back on court in the near future!