Chierika Ukogu, the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, will be representing Nigeria in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. She will be competing in the Women’s Single Scull event and will be the first Nigerian to row at the Olympic Games.
Ukogu got her start rowing in the Schuylkill River along Conshohocken and Whitemarsh Township. She started rowing in 2006 at Mount Saint Joseph Academy, which rows out of a boathouse at the Hines Rowing Center in Whitemarsh Township (Conshohocken address). After graduating from Mount Saint Joseph Academy, she attended Stanford University and competed at the Division 1 level while completing pre-med coursework. After graduating Stanford in 2014, Ukogu delayed starting medical school to dedicate her time to reaching the Olympics.
Leading up to the Olympic Game she has trained for 30 hours/week with the top rowers in the Philadelphia region under coaches from Vesper Boat Club (her home club) and the Conshohocken Rowing Center. When not training, she has been conducting women’s health research at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ukogu’s first race in Rio will be on Saturday, August 6th.