OKAGBARE Blessing < Back  
Sport Athletics
CGA Nigeria   
Gender Women
Born 09 Oct 1988 in Sapele, NGR
Height1.81 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Residence United States
Occupation Athlete, Student
Languages English
Higher education Business - University of Texas: El Paso, TX, USA
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? Growing up she practised running and jumping. She began competing in jumping in 2004 but her coach at the University of Texas in the United States of America suggested she switch to sprinting in 2009 after watching her run the 100m.
Why this sport? When she was younger she played football and basketball. "I enjoyed playing sports in high school. I was fast but people used me as a target. It was then I realised that I didn't want to play anymore. My first race in athletics came after my sister told a physical education teacher that I could really run. He paid me to go to my first race, where I blew everyone away over 100m. That's how I started."
Training Regime Her training includes running, cardio exercise and weight lifting. "Practice starts at about 11:00 and runs through to 15:00. On days that I am not training I usually do my stretching routine."
General Interest
Injuries In July 2015 she suffered a knee injury at the Diamond League event in Lausanne, Switzerland, but was able to return for the Monaco event later that month. (venturesafrica.com, 10 Sep 2015)

She opted not to compete at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, to instead undergo surgery to repair a stress fracture of her tibia. (iaaf.org, 06 Aug 2013)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs She listens to music before each race. 'I listen to a song that inspires me, something about victory and success." (news.nike.com, 30 Jul 2015)
Sporting philosophy / motto "It's all about setting goals and keeping your mind set on those goals. Don't ever give up on yourself." (venturesafrica.com, 21 Aug 2015)
Awards and honours In 2017 she was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the University of Texas El Paso [UTEP] in the United States of America. (makingofchamps.com, 20 Mar 2018)

She was named the 2013 Athlete of the Year by the Nigeria Olympic Committee. (allafrica.com, 02 Dec 2013)

She was named the 2010 Conference USA Female Athlete of the Year. (iaaf.org, 06 Aug 2013)
Milestones She is the first competitor representing Nigeria to have won two individual medals in athletics at the world championships. She claimed silver in long jump and bronze in the 200m at the 2013 edition of the tournament in Moscow, Russian Federation. (SportsDeskOnline, 14 Feb 2020; athletics-africa.com, 19 Dec 2013; vanguardngr.com 17 Aug 2013)
Other information BEIJING MEDAL UPGRADE
In January 2017 she received the silver medal from the long jump at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing after the International Olympic Committee [IOC] disqualified Russian athlete Tatiana Lebedeva due to a doping offence. Okagbare had originally finished third in the long jump competition. (SportsDeskOnline, 14 Feb 2020; makingofchamps.com, 25 Jan 2017)

FURTHER EDUCATION
She has studied for a master's degree in public administration, communications, and sports marketing at Texas Tech University in the United States of America. "I went back to school to get my master's. I just always thought that being a professional athlete and making a lot of money, I really didn't care. I just focused on other things. I found out that there was so much more in me than being just an athlete. I have always wanted to go out and speak to people." (vanguardngr.com, 19 Apr 2020)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She has volunteered as an assistant athletics coach at Texas Tech University in the United States of America. (womenfitness.net, 15 Aug 2020)