Top 12 Nigerian sports heroes and heroines: Interesting details

Top 12 Nigerian sports heroes and heroines: Interesting details

Sports are a crucial part of everyone's growth and development. They help people to maintain health and fitness. Some people are talented in specific sports. They have honed their skills and talents and competed in various local and international games. Several Nigerian sports heroes have made the country proud.

10 Nigerian sports heroes and their contributions
Photo: @Chris Austin/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire, @Cesare Purini/Mondadori Portfolio, @ LOCOG (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Different countries are known for producing professional athletes in various games. Kenya, for example, is known for athletics, while the United Kingdom is known for cricket. Nigeria also has various professional players. Read on to discover the Nigerian sports heroes and their contributions to the country.

Top Nigerian sports heroes and heroines

Nigeria has produced various professional athletes who have performed well in local and international events. Check out the names of Nigerian sports heroes and heroines in 2022 below.

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1. Ejike Lucy

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Lucy Ogechukwu Ejike is a Paralympic powerlifter. She uses a wheelchair due to polio.

Full name Lucy Ogechukwu Ejike
Place of birthEnugu
Date of birth16th October 1977
Age44 years (as of 2022)
Game Paralympic powerlifting

Despite her physical challenge, she represented her motherland at six consecutive Paralympic Games, i.e. from 2000 in Sydney to Tokyo in 2021. She brought home three gold, two silver and one bronze medal.

2. Victor Osimhen

Nigerian sports heroes
Victor Osimhen of SSC Napoli reacts during the Serie A football match between SSC Napoli and Genoa CFC at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Napoli, Italy. Photo: @Cesare Purini/Mondadori Portfolio
Source: Getty Images

Victor Osimhen features on the list of five Nigerian sports heroes in 2022. The young man is a professional footballer.

Full nameVictor James Osimhen
Place of birthLagos
Date of birth29th December 1998
Age23 years (as of 2022)
GameFootball

He plays as an attacker for Serie A club Napoli and the Nigeria national team. During the Serie A matches in 2021/2022, he made 27 appearances overall and is the team's top league scorer.

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3. Asisat Oshoala

list of five Nigerian sports heroes
Asisat Oshoala in action against England at the FIFA U-20 Girls World Cup at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Photo: @Chris Austin/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire
Source: Getty Images

Asisat Oshoala plays as a striker for Primera División club FC Barcelona Femení and the Nigerian women's national team.

Full nameAsisat Lamina Oshoala MON
Place of birthIkorodu
Date of birth9th October 1994
Age27 years (as of 2022)
GameFootball

She is a four-time and reigning African Women's Footballer of the Year. In 2022, she will be missing nearly half of Barcelona's games because of a knee injury.

4. Joseph Yobo

nigerian sports heroes and their contributions
Joseph Yobo speaking during a campaign rally for the re-election of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Lagos. Photo: @PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP
Source: Getty Images

Joseph Michael Yobo is a former professional footballer who played as a centre-back. He was the Nigerian national team captain until his international football retirement in June 2014.

Full nameJoseph Michael Yobo
Place of birthKono
Date of birth6th September 1980
Age41 years (as of 2022)
GameFootball

Yobo played his first match for Everton on 28th September 2002. He was a substitute against Fulham. In his Premier League career, he played 228 times with eight goals and two assists.

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5. Enku Ekuta

Enku Ekuta features among the names of sportsmen/women in Nigeria in 2022.

Full nameEnku Ekuta
Place of birthLagos
Date of birth15th March 1998
Age24 years (as of 2022)
GameJudo

The 24-year-old is a Judoka like her parents. She took home a silver medal at the 2019 African Open in Yaounde and a bronze medal in Dakar.

6. Teslim 'Thunder' Balogun

The name Teslim 'Thunder' Balogun cannot miss on the list of past and present sports heroes and their contributions to Nigeria. Teslim was a football player and coach.

Full nameTesilimi Olawale Ayinde "Teslim" Balogun
Place of birthPort Harcourt
Year of birth27th March 1931
Date of demise30th July 1972
Age at death41 years
GameFootball

He played for Apapa Bombers, Marine Athletics, UAC XI, Railways XI, Jos XI, Pan Bank Team, Dynamos Club and SCOA XI. He won the Challenge Cup five times in seven finals.

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7. Nwankwo Kanu

10 Nigerian sports heroes and their contributions
Footballer Nwankwo Kanu carries the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg through Coventry during day 44 of the Olympic Flame Torch Relay in Coventry, England. Photo: @LOCOG
Source: Getty Images

Nwankwo Kanu started his career at the Nigerian league club Federation Works before moving to Iwuanyanwu Nationale.

Full nameNwankwo Christian Nwosu Kanu OON
Place of birthOwerri, Imo state
Date of birth1st August 1976
Age45 years (as of 2022)
GameFootball

He was a member of the Nigeria national team. He scored 54 goals and made 113 wins in his career.

8. Mercy Akide

Mercy Joy Akide Udoh is a former football midfielder, and her name features on the list of the top 10 Nigerian sports heroes and their contributions.

Full nameMercy Joy Akide Udoh
Place of birthPort Harcourt
Date of birth26th August 1975
Age46 years (as of 2022)
GameFootball

She started her professional career at Garden City Queens. By the time she was retiring, she was playing the women's league at Hampton Roads Piranhas. In 2005, she was named among FIFA's 15 Ambassadors for Women Football.

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9. Enefiok Udo-obong

Enefiok Udo-obong features on the list of Nigerian sports heroes and their contributions. He is a professional sprinter who has made his country proud.

Full nameEnefiok Udo-Obong
Place of birth Ibadan, Oyo State
Date of birth22nd May 1982
Age40 years (as of 2022)
SportSprinting/ athletics

He is the only Nigerian to win two Olympic medals. He bagged a gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics. At the 2004 Summer Olympics, he won a bronze medal.

10. Chioma Ajunwa

past and present sports heroes and their contributions to Nigeria
Atlanta Olympic triple jump gold medalist Chief Superintendent of Police Chioma Ajunwa-Opara stands during a protest against the removal of a fuel subsidy in Lagos. Photo: @PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP
Source: Getty Images

Chioma Ajunwa is a former athlete, best remembered as the first Nigerian to win gold at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Full nameChioma Ajunwa-Opara
Place of birthImo
Date of birth25th December 1970
Age51 years (as of 2022)
GameAthletics

She is also a World Indoor Championships Silver medallist. She is the only Nigerian woman to compete at the FIFA Women's World Cup as a footballer and track and field athlete in the Olympics.

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11. Innocent Egbunike

Innocent Egbunike is a former athletics champion who made his home country proud. He is a 4-time Olympian.

Full nameInnocent Ejima Egbunike
Place of birthOnitsha
Date of birth30th November 1961
Age60 years (as of 2022)
GameSprinting/ athletics

In 1983, 1984, and 1984, he was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championship Meet. He was also the first athlete ever to win 4 NAIA 100-meter titles.

12. Austin Okocha

Augustine Azuka Okocha former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder.

Full nameAugustine Azuka Okocha
Place of birthEnugu
Date of birth14th August 1973
Age48 years (as of 2022)
GameFootball

He was in the Nigerian national team between 1993 and 2006 and a member of three FIFA World Cup squads. He scored 14 goals and made 124 appearances for the Nigerian national team.

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What are the top sports in Nigeria?

The top three sports in the country are football, athletics, and basketball.

What is soccer called in Nigeria?

In Nigeria, this game is called football or soccer.

Nigerian sports heroes have made the country proud by winning various awards and medals. Some of them are retired, while others are still playing various games.

READ ALSO: 15 best Muslim football players in the world 2022 (with photos)

Legit.ng recently published a list of the best Muslim football players in the world in 2022. Football is one of the most watched sports in the world. Almost all countries have national teams that participate in various games.

There are many notable Muslim soccer players known for their spectacular performances. They play for various clubs and leagues.

Source: Legit.ng

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