Nigeria, though boasting a large population of riverine people and blessed with numerous water bodies, has never competed in the rowing competition of the largest sporting event in the world – the Olympics. But one young woman is ready to buck the trend.
23-year-old Cheirika Ukogu will be making history at the Rio 2016 Olympics by becoming the first rower to represent Nigeria at the Games.
American-born Ukogu, qualified to represent Nigeria at the summer Games in Brazil during the 2015 FISA African Olympic Qualification Regatta.
A graduate of Stanford University and a medical school hopeful, Ukogu, fondly referred to as Coco, said in a recent interview that it had always been her dream to row for Nigeria. She also opined that her training at the Vesper Boathouse at Schuylkill, Philadelphia puts her in great position at the Games.
“It is my ultimate goal to be the first Nigerian to row at the Olympic Games. Heading into Rio, it’s a really wonderful opportunity for Nigeria. This is the first time we’ve had an athlete at the Olympics in the sport of rowing,” Ukogu told boathouse.com.
An inspiration for women in Nigeria and around the world Ukogu is currently prepping for the 2016 Rio Olympics at the Boathouse in Philadelphia.
Watch her full interview below:
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