British Olympic medal winner, Anyika Onuora, has revealed she was racially abused and sexually assaulted while representing the UK. The 37-year-old, who was born in the UK to Nigerian parents, won World Championship, European Championships, and Olympic medals.
In her new book, My Hidden Race, Onuora detailed the experiences that have ‘haunted’ her. She recalls a male ‘drunk’ athlete who first grabbed her waist ‘strongly’ while she was competing abroad before he followed her back to her room and forced the door open at 3am.
According to Onuora, he pinned her to the bed, took her underwear off and she sprang into action kicking him in the groin. She said: ‘I told myself, ‘Just keep fighting with everything, Anyika. Fight him. Fight.”
In another incident, a physio sexually assaulted her, pushing his groin onto her while giving her a massage, she alleges. She said: ‘I have experienced things as a British athlete that haunt me during the day and the night. No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to outrun the demons in my mind.
‘I have been brutally sexually assaulted, experienced frequent racial abuse, and attempted suicide twice. All while competing for my country.’
Onuora also recalls growing up in Liverpool. She says in the Dingle suburb she was called a racial slur, spat on, bricks were thrown at her house, she was burgled and attacked by a gang every week and family’s car was destroyed in arson until she moved to Wavertree.
According to Mail Online, her assaults were not reported to the British Athletics but she is raising awareness now to encourage other women in sport to share their stories. Anyika Onuora is also an individual bronze in the 400 metres in 2016, a relay gold in the 4 x 400 metres relay at that year’s European Championships, and also a Bronze holder at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for the 4 x 400 metres relay.