Mount Sinai Students to Compete in 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Posted by: Julie Briggs
Mount Sinai will be well represented at the 2016 Summer Olymics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Mount Sinai PhD graduate, Maria Michta-Coffey will compete in the Women’s 20km Race Walk event, and first-year ISMMS medical student, Chierika Ukogu, will compete in the Women's Single Scull rowing event.
This will be the second trip to the Olympics for Maria Michta-Coffey, who placed first at the U.S Olympic Team Trials last month and is a five-time outdoor national champion, as she competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Michta-Coffey graduated from Sachem High School in 2004, graduated as valedictorian at Long Island University C.W. Post in 2008, and earned her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2014 while training for the national championships and this year’s games. Read more about Michta-Coffey's impressive accomplishments and her journey to the 2016 Summer Olympics on newsli.com here.
Chierika Ukogu, 23, a self-made Olympian, will represent Nigeria at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. To pursue her dream of competing in the Olympics, Ukogu has put medical school on hold for two years. She will compete in the women's single scull event in Rio and then, two days later, fly to New York to begin classes at ISMMS. Ukogu is a dual citizen of the U.S. and the western African nation. She has spent almost every summer of her life in Africa, visiting the small villages with unpaved roads where most of her extended family live. Her motivation comes from the desire to achieve a personal athletic goal, but also to inspire young people in both the U.S. and Nigeria, to put African rowers in a positive light, and also find a way to promote rowing and its benefits to a country still lacking in opportunities for youth. Continue reading more about Ukgou's inspiring story on the Philadelphia Inquirer, here.