24 year old Uche Eke will represent Nigeria in the country’s debut in gymnastics at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Uche Eke qualified for the Olympics after capturing the bronze medal in the all-around competition at the African Gymnastics Championships on May 27 in Cairo. As a general rule, the top two finishers from different countries earned berths in the Olympics but because Egypt won gold and silver, only one of the automatic qualifiers went to Egypt, and Eke secured the other.
Uche Eke had previously competed for Nigeria at the 2019 African Games in August in Rabat, Morocco where he won a gold medal on the pommel horse and a bronze in the parallel bars. He also represented Nigeria at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships that October in Stuttgart, Germany in October 2019.
Uche, who has been practicing gymnastics since he was three is not just a master on the balance beam, he is also exceptionally intelligent. He graduated from the University of Michigan School of Information with a 4.0 GPA and also scooped a Margaret Mann Award for his exceptional academic ability and professional promise. He is also proficient in 9 programming languages.
By qualifying for Tokyo Olympics, the 24-year-old Olympic medal hopeful said he has reached his ultimate athletic training goal.
“I dream about raising my hand, saluting, getting ready to perform my routines. I dream of walking out on the main stage with the Nigerian colors. Too bad there won’t be any fans there to raise the flag. But it’s ok. It’s all in my heart.
“This is all I’ve really wanted in life,” he said. “It’s just crazy to turn that dream into a reality. I believed in myself, but this just proves that anything you can believe in, you can do.”
Postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Summer Olympics will to begin officially July 23 with the Opening Ceremonies and end Aug. 8 with the Closing Ceremonies.
Artistic gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics will begin with the men’s qualification round July 23 and run through Aug. 3. All of the competitions will be held at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre.
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