3 January 2017
Nigeria did not have an impressive outing at the 2016 Olympics that held in Rio, Brazil, but some athletes in the Nigerian team had an outstanding tournament.
The Nigerian football team gave a spirited effort despite the odds and dramatic events leading up to their first match and left the games with a bronze medal, the country’s only medal from the games.
Divine Oduduru became nationally famous after finishing in second place, six milli-seconds behind the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, setting his own personal best record at the qualification round of the men’s 200m track event.
But it was Chierika ‘Coco’ Ukogu that shone the most at the games after representing Nigeria in the Women’s Single Sculls event, the first Nigerian rower to participate in the Olympics.
Although Ukogu finished in 20th place, a long way behind the winning medals, her path of determination and personal drive that led her to compete at the Olympics endeared her to many.
As such, in recognition of her Olympic rowing feat, the 24-year-old Stanford graduate, who recently rounded up her first semester of medical school at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, was awarded the Anambra Ambassador of Excellence Award.
The award was given under the auspices of the 25th anniversary of the creation of Anambra state.
She shared the news of the award on Twitter with a photo and a tweet that read, “Honored to be an #AnambraState ambassador of excellence #25years”.
Even though the Nigerian-born American Olympian is still in medical school – which she had deferred for a year in order to train and prepare for the 2016 Olympics – she continues to row every chance she gets and has expressed the willingness to return to the games in 2020 to represent the country and hopefully, this time, leave with a medal.
Author: Aderonke Adeleke
Writer. Music lover. Movie junkie. Social Media Enthusiast. Aspiring dancer. Aspiring photographer. Social Introvert.