World-class athlete Dennis Ogbe is no stranger to hard work and dedication. Balancing a full-time job, a wife, small child, and a full time training schedule, Dennis somehow finds time to excel in every aspect of his life. He is the top ranked American and U.S. champion in both shot put and discus classifications, and a favorite for the 2012 London Games.
“I cannot say why God put me where I am, other than I am most blessed with everything that is in my life,” said Ogbe, a native of Nigeria who became an American citizen 2010 “Nothing has come easy, so I think that is why hard work, and doing all of these things seem ordinary for me. I am filled with so much love for life, passion for sport, and I want to accomplish as much as I can. Life is good.”
Dennis’ life seems like it could be the plot of a movie. At age three he contracted Malaria and when a nurse accidentally broke a needle in his back, was in a coma for several days. He woke up, but with a weakened immune system, he contracted Polio, which left him paralyzed from the waist down.
His health suffered as a result of the disease, but driven by his desire to succeed, Dennis never let this stand in his way. Through hard work and the encouragement of friend Masai Uriji (who is now general manager for the Denver Nuggets), Dennis was able to regain the strength of his right leg, though his left leg still remains affected. Nevertheless, Dennis has learned to walk on his own, run and compete in Olympic events.
Dennis came to the United States on a sports scholarship and holds a Bachelors and M.B.A. from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky. At Bellarmine, Dennis competed against able-bodied athletes in discus, shot put and javelin.
Dennis has competed twice in the Paralympic games for Nigeria and hopes to represent the United States in the 2012 London Games. “I am so proud to be an American, I cannot even find the words to describe the feeling,” Ogbe said. “Having kits (uniforms) with the USA logo on them from the U.S. Paralympic Committee are so special, I wear them with great respect and pride.”