Ruth Ogbeifo

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Ruth Ogbeifo-Balofin (born 18 April 1972) is a Nigerian weightlifter.


  • My noble intention is to train and mentor weightlifter who will win medals for the country (Nigeria) not only at African Championships but Commonwealth and Olympic Games. There are strong young girls who are capable of making the nation proud but all they need it the enabling environment. What I intending doing to capture some of these girls with raw strength and convert them into refined lifters; that is why I have a center in Offa. Offa is a big community where we have influential personalities who love weightlifting. One of the missions is to make sure the sport is back, the athletes train and produce lifters that will beat my record
  • I came to the World Championship to boost the morale of the athletes and see what the competition is like, compared to the past. My assessment of the weightlifters was that they have done very well according to the level of preparation and support from the President of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation, Dr Ibrahim Abdul.
  • I am optimistic with the current performance of the weightlifters; Nigeria will qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
  • My advice to the weightlifters is to return home; remain consistent in their training, remain focused and avoid distractions.
  • Today is a historic day because Ruth Ogbeifo Balofin Community Project (ROBCOP) is entering into a partnership with the College of Education in owning its training centre inside the school. We have a vision for all our weightlifters to become heroes and heroines as well as become educated. In the next four years, we hope to see some of these weightlifters bring glory to Kwara State and Nigeria at international championships. ROBCOP will provide the enabling environment and equipment for the weightlifters to train. For you to excel in the sport, you need consistent training. I cannot do it alone; a tree cannot make a forest and that is why I am seeking the collaboration of the state government, the sports council and management of the tertiary institution.
  • Weightlifting made me who I am today and I thank God for that but I believe everyone cannot be an active sports person this is why I decided to empower orphans and widows through Charity Mind of Giving (CMOG) FOUNDATION. If the athletes cannot excel in sports due to the intensive training and pressure, I believe they can channel their energy to either tailoring or hairdressing.
  • I hold no grudge not been among the 60 Nigeria Sports Icon but it is painful that after spending 8 hours everyday while training, getting injured and recovering, becoming an All African Games Champion, African Champion, World Champion and Olympic Silver medallist, my country still did not deem it fit to recognize me among their sports Icon. For record purpose, I am not only I Champion in my sport, I have also produced African Games Champions in weightlifting through my Ruth Ogbeifo-Balofin Community Project (ROBCOP) in Offa, Kwara state. If my country does not honour me, I know God in heaven will honour me. Outside Nigeria, I get treated like a queen whenever they know I won a medal at the Olympics but in Nigeria, I will have to lobby to get things done.

Quotes about Ruth[edit]

  • Anyone who remembers the stories of Ruth Ogbeifo and Glory Alozie will see how injurious this ICON injustice is. Ruth possibly could have won the gold but for an injury she was treating months to the games. An NGO, HOPE Worldwide Nigeria, not the NSC, assisted with funds for her medicals. She lifted 245kg same as Colombian Maria Urrutia who won the gold medal because of her lower body weight. Now her medal is treated with indifference.
  • I must say this in defence of the Nigeria Weightlifting Federation that a list of past and present lifters were submitted as requested and Ruth Balofin (Ogbeifo)’s name was No 1 as the first African to win a silver medal in weightlifting at the Olympics. As a matter of fact, she finished with the same lift with the eventual gold Medalist but lost due to body weight. Some of us were present at the Sydney Olympics in year 2000. We were therefore surprised that her name did not feature. Perhaps, there are other criteria used.
  • If Ruth isn’t there, then there’s a problem. I’m seeing so many Olympics bronze medallists on the list, what criteria did they use in dropping her and others?

External links[edit]

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