Today in 1996: Chioma Ajunwa First African Woman to Win Olympic Gold Medal

Chioma Ajunwa

Chioma Ajunwa, a former athlete, made history on this day in 1996 when she became the first African woman to win an Olympic Gold Medal in a field event.

Who is Chioma Ajunwa? 

Ajunwa was a history maker in Nigeria. She is the only person, male or female, to have represented the maximum in two sports. 

Football Career 

Ajunwa is a top footballer who began her career playing football for the Nigerian women’s team. Ajunwa is a top footballer who began her career playing football for the Nigerian women’s team. She competed for The Falcons in the 1991 Women’s World Cup, but her talent was seldom put to use because she was frequently benched.  

She was also a member of the Super Falcons at the first FIFA Women’s World Cup in China in 1991. After impressing in football, she moved on where she stormed, breaking the then-African record by running 10.84 seconds (although not legal time).  

Although she was an excellent sprinter, Ajunwa would make it to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics where she defeated a pool of world-class athletes to win Nigeria’s Olympic gold medal. Since that time, Ajunwa has had a number of nationwide accolades and has continually returned to sports with philanthropic deeds.  

Ajunwa helped support U16 football and supported youth sports in general. It has a foundation that not only supports taekwondo and soccer. 

Also Read: Today in History: Alvan Ikoku Was Born on This Day in 1900 

But her work has been more impressive in that of sportsmen (and women) against the scourge of doping. 

Being a victim of ignorance herself, Ajunwa has held many clinics to educate athletes about the dangers of doping. 

She is currently a police officer with the Nigerian police force and has received the national MON title and numerous tribal chief titles. 

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