Lucy Ejike is a powerlifting legend. The Nigerian has won Paralympic and world titles throughout her glittering career spanning almost two decades.
She has managed to become one of the best athletes in a country which is home to several of the world’s strongest powerlifters.
In 2018, Ejike secured gold at the African Championships in Algiers, Algeria, and silver in the women’s lightweight at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
A year before, she made her World Championship debut in Mexico City, claiming gold in the women’s up to 61kg.
Ejike has so far competed at five Paralympic Games between 2000 and 2016, winning a staggering three golds and two silvers.
She was Nigeria’s flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony of Rio 2016. Later that year, she was named Female Athlete of the Year at the 2016 Nigeria Sports Awards.
"My secret is discipline and hard work," is her motto for sports and life.
She has paraplegia as a result of the effects of polio after contracting the illness at age one.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
She was flag bearer for Nigeria at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (myinfo.rio2016.com, 06 Sep 2016)
She admits that her rivalry with Egyptian Para powerlifter Fatma Omar has provided motivation for her sporting career. Both of them competed in all five editions of the Paralympic Games from 2000 to 2016 and against one another in the same categories in 2000, 2012 and 2016. Omar won gold in 2000 and 2012 when Ejike took silver but, in 2016, Ejike claimed gold and Omar silver. "Fatma Omar is the one who has pushed me to be stronger. She is my friend and we are very close. When we met for the first time at the 2000 Games, she showed me that I would have a very big task. I asked myself, 'Does the person who won gold have two heads? Definitely not. She has one head', and if she could get gold, I can also get a gold medal. She made me start working harder than ever. At the 2016 Games, it was tense and everybody was there to watch Lucy and Fatma. It was very tough but it was the day I won a gold against Omar and it sent me crazy. I was shouting a lot." (bbc.co.uk, 03 Sep 2020; paralympic.org, 17 Aug 2020; paralympic.org, 26 Jun 2019)
She has served as a sports officer for Enugu State Sports Council since 2000. (Facebook profile, 14 Apr 2021)
|Women's -44 kg||Final Round||2|
|Women's -44 kg||Final Round||1|
|Women's -48 kg||Final Round||1|
|Women's -56 kg||Final Round||2012-09-02||2|
|Women's -61 kg||Final Round||2016-09-11||1|
|Women's Up to 61.00kg||Final||2017-12-05||1|