Paralympic powerlifting gold medalist, Ejike Lucy Ogechukwu, was surprised at the invitation of the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on September 30 at the Enugu State Government house.
This is on the back of her teammates bemoaning the Federal Government’s apparent snub despite winning medals and breaking records in Rio.
PREMIUM TIMES spoke to the athlete, who won gold in the 61kg Powerlifting event at the Rio Paralympic Games, which recently ended in Brazil.
The 38-year-old said, “The motivation I have as I am sitting waiting for the Governor is that with this recognition, I want to win more medals at Tokyo 2020.
“This is something I never expected and it is the kind of motivation that the athletes need and would spur them on to do more in future competitions.”
The athlete asked the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, to do more for the Paralympians.
The state later announced a gift of N1 million and a parcel of land for the weightlifter.
Ogechukwu, a native of Unumbe-Ndiagu in Ezeagwu Local Government Area of Enugu State, revealed that she started preparation for Rio immediately after the London 2012 Olympics where she could only win silver.
“The earlier the better,” she said.
Ogechukwu shattered the Paralympic and World Record three successive times en-route winning gold in the women’s 61kg event in Powerlifting.
She was at the Enugu State House with her nurse, husband, and two children.
The 38-year-old, in her fifth Paralympic appearance, finally came good after winning silver medals in Sydney and London Games.