16 October 1977, Nigeria, Nigeria
Lucy Ogechukwu Ejike (born 16 October 1977) is a Nigerian Paralympic powerlifter. She has represented her country at five consecutive Paralympic Games from 2000 in Sydney through to 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. She has won medals at each, three gold and two silver. she won a further silver medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth games women’s lightweight category of the Para Powerlifting event behind compatriot Esther Oyema
Ejike was born in Nigeria in 1977. Ejike uses a wheelchair due to polio
Ejike began training as a powerlifter shortly before the 2000 Summer Paralympics in Sydney, Australia. At the Sydney Games she competed in the 44 kg weight class taking the silver medal with a lift of 102.5 kg, behind Fatma Omar of Egypt. Four years later at the Athens Games, while competing at the same weight class, she broke the Paralympic powerlifting world record twice on the way to winning the gold medal with a lift of 127.5 kg.
At the 2008 Beijing Games, Ejike moved up one weight class and took gold in the 48 kg event. She broke the world record with her first attempt, lifting 125 kg. She broke the record again with a second lift of 130 kg, but faltered while trying to lift 137.5 kg on her third attempt.
After her win in Beijing, Ejike stated that has intentions of moving up another weight to set a new world record in a third class. This led to a showdown at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London with her rival from Athens, and current 56 kg world record holder, Fatma Omar. Ejike took the lead in the first round with a lift of 135 kg but she was unable to better this attempt, while Omar bettered her record from Beijing with a final lift of 142 kg. Despite failing to beat Omar, the two women were a class above the rest of the field, and Ejike took silver, 17 kg over bronze medalist Özlem Becerikli of Turkey.
Four years later Ejike and Omar met for the third time at a Paralympic Games, when thy both entered the 2016 Games in Rio. After London the International Paralympic Committee changed the powerlifting weight categories for both men and women, and the two competed in the women’s 61 kg division. The year previous Mexico’s Amalia Perez had set a world record in the 61 kg with a lift of 133 kg, which Ejike surpassed with her first lift of 135 kg. Omar had failed at 133 kg on her first lift, but was successful at the same weight on her second attempt. Ejike improved her lead with her second lift, setting her second world record of the day with a weight of 138 kg. Omar responded with a final lift of 140 kg, putting Ejike into silver medal place. With her final attempt Ejike succeeded with her third world record of the day, and the gold medal when she completed a lift of 142 kg to make her a three time gold medal winner. As well as her gold medal success, Ejike was also honoured at Rio by being selected by her country to be the flag bearer at the opening ceremony.