UCSB grad overcomes tragedy & goes for Winter Olympics

Former Gauchos track star triumphs over tragic loss of parents to make USA Bobsled Team

POSTED: 09:12 PM PDT Jul 01, 2013    UPDATED: 11:51 PM PDT Jul 01, 2013 
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

In 2007 Maureen Ajoku seemed to have no problems at all. She was about to graduate high school and head to UCSB to run track. But she soon found herself alone.

Maureen's father Julius Ajoku died suddenly of kidney failure, just three weeks before graduation. In December of 2007, her mother Nnenna Ajoku died of ovarian cancer.

The loss of her parents was devastating for Ajoku but it also pushed her to live a life that would make her parents proud.

During her final year at UCSB, she tried the bobsled on the suggestion of coach Josh Priester. Now the 2012 UCSB graduate is a member of the USA Bobsled Team. She has a good chance of making it to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.