Kingboy Douglas Jr. | Contributor
Featured Image: Christy and her sons, Raphael (8) and Regis (5), after winning her 300m race at York Open. | Stella Isaac
Christy Ihunaegbo has achieved great things in athletics. She’s a Commonwealth Games medalist, U Sports Champion, and the current record holder in the 300m and 4x400m relay for York. Off the track, however, she is a full-time student, and mother of two.
Christy, originally from Rivers State, Nigeria, began running as a child. While she was growing up, the socio-political climate in Nigeria was harsh.
Christy took school seriously, which is common in Nigeria’s traditional and cultural practices. Despite this, it was in school where she developed her passion for running, and was encouraged by her teachers and classmates. She grew fond of competing in relays, and would soon compete in state competitions.
Christy was successful in her early years of running. However, she still had to overcome the concerns and doubts of those closest to her. Friends and family, especially, were opposed to her pursuit of athletics.
“I kept fighting,” Christy says. Her perseverance led her to develop into one of the best quarter-milers in the country. She went to represent Nigeria at the Commonwealth Games, the African Championships, and the IAAF World Cup. In 2009, Christy immigrated to Toronto to provide a better future for her family.
Training requires Christy to allocate her time wisely. There are days where she easily finds herself at the track for more than five hours for an event that takes less than a minute to run.
With school and running, there is no time to pursue a social life, but two boys and a husband at home, as well as time at the track, keeps her busy. In the end, the joy of winning is all worth it; this is what keeps Christy going.
Currently, she is the top ranked athlete in the women’s 300m, and will be a key member of the 4x400m team as she looks to help the York women, headed by Coach Raymond Rudder, capture the national title.
“Anything you want in life you have to fight for, if you do you will surely get it,” Christy says. “Don’t be scared to do so, don’t be scared of failure. When you fail, you fight again, and you have to always put God first.”
It is this mentality that has helped shape Christy into one of the most dominant and feared athletes at the U SPORTS level, as well as what makes her a great mother, and an inspiration to those she comes in contact with.