Hellen Wawira Kariuki

Hellen Wawira Kariuki is one of Kenya’s most successful powerlifting athletes.

She was introduced to the sport by ex-Kenyan international Gabriel Magu during a medical check up at the Kijabe Hospital.

Wawira is among the sportspersons who made Kenya proud during the 2022 season.

In July, Wawira clinched a gold medal at the 2022 World Para Powerlifting American Open Championship staged in Missouri, United States. 

Less than a month later, she bagged Kenya's maiden medal during the 2022 Commonwealth Games which was staged in Birmingham, United Kingdom - she lifted 97 kg to win a bronze medal at the championship.

In 2021, Wawira entered Kenya's history books when she became the first Kenyan female athlete to participate in the Paralympics Games, finishing fifth at the event which was held in Tokyo, Japan.

Wawira, who suffers from a spina bifida defect, is an alumnus of Joy Town High School (Thika) and Dagoretti Children's Home (Nairobi). Wawira was unable to complete her educational studies due to financial challenges.

When she is not lifting weights, Wawira takes care of her farm in Embu County, where she grows crops such as beans and maize