Chiaka Ogbogu is a professional volleyball player and Team USA Olympian. Team U.S.A. Volleyball team won the Gold medal in the July 2021 Olympic games in Tokyo Japan becoming the first USA Women Volleyball team to achieve that feat. Ogbogu graduated from the University of Texas in 2017 with a Bachelors’s degree in Kinesiology and Health and a Business Foundations certificate. Chiaka Ogbogu is currently playing professional volleyball in Istanbul, Turkey for the reigning Turkish League champions: Vakifbank Sports Club. Chiaka Ogbogu won a Gold Medal competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She made history by being a part of the first USA Volleyball team to win an Olympic Gold medal. Her current passions include mentoring young African-American women, advocating for social justice, and inspiring the youth. Chiaka Ogbogu is the daughter of Henry Ogbogu MD and Victoria Ogbogu. She has two younger brothers Obi and Nnamdi that are currently attending university.
In this interview with Life and Times News, Chiaka Ogbogu talks about this stellar achievement, her growing up years, and her plans for the future…
You were part of the 1st USA Women Volleyball team to win a Gold Medal.
Tell us a little about your Olympic dream and how you were able to attain it with this historic team?
My Olympic dream started as a young girl. I would say I started taking volleyball seriously at age 14. With each phase of my life, the reality of pursuing this sport on a professional level became more and more feasible.
You graduated from the University of Texas in 2017 with a Kinesiology & Health Bachelor’s degree and Business Foundation certificate. Tell us about your growing up years and your educational career.
Education is very important in my family. I have always held my education endeavors to such high standards. School always came first, but being an athlete allowed me to learn important life skills at a young age such as, time management, prioritizing tasks and having to balance rigorous schedules. I graduated from one of the best public universities in America and I know that I will always have those connections to guide me to my next career when I decide to stop playing volleyball.
You currently play professional volleyball in Istanbul Turkey, how is that going and what are your professional dreams & goals?
I have been very blessed to earn contracts playing for the best teams in the world. I am so honored to be joining one of the top volleyball organizations in the world. With this team, my goals are to continue to get better as a player while helping this team to achieve our goals of winning multiple championships.
It is often said that Nigerian parents put so much pressure on their kids to succeed. Tell us a little about your family, your growing up years in a Nigerian family.
I come from a very successful and highly educated family. My father is a medical doctor and my mom runs her own business as an Interior Designer. I know pressure comes from our parents wanting the very best for their kids. I have always been inspired by my parents’ work ethic and I truly believe it laid the foundation for me to be known as a diligent worker.
Now, that the 2021 Olympics is gone and with an Olympic Gold Medal around your neck, where do you plan to go from here?
I plan to play another professional season abroad whilst keeping the door open for the 2024 Olympic Games.
Finally, as one who is passionate about mentoring African American women, advocating for social justice, and inspiring the youth, what would be your word of advice to young ones out there about achieving success?
My advice would be to find your “village”. I would not be in the position I am in today without the love, guidance, and support of my family and mentors. My village has pushed and encouraged me to be the very best in whatever I do. I am so grateful to have amazing and inspiring people in my corner.