Ele Opeloge

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games • Other
Full nameEle•Opeloge
Used nameEle•Opeloge
Born11 July 1985 in Apia, Tuamasaga (SAM)
Measurements168 cm / 124 kg
NOC Samoa
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1


Ele Opeloge’s family made a living off of their banana plantation, but its members were also involved heavily in weightlifting, with no fewer than five competing in the sport at an international level. Until 2007 her brother Niusila, who took bronze at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in the 85kg snatch category, was the star of the family, but that year Ele took gold in the +75 kg category at both the Oceanian Championships and the Pacific Games and was 11th at the World Championships. Winning the 2008 Oceanian Championships earned her a spot on Samoa’s two woman, four man delegation to that year’s Summer Olympics, where she finished fourth in the Super Heavyweight division, failing to become Samoa’s first Olympic medalist by just one kilogram. In 2016, however, Olha Korobka and Mariya Grabovetskaya, the silver and bronze medalists from Ukraine and Kazakhstan respectively, were disqualified after a retest of their samples showed the presence of banned substances, which makes it likely that Opeloge will be elevated to second place. She then came in fourth at the 2009 World Championships, after winning the Oceanians.

Undeterred, Opeloge pressed forward in her quest for an Olympic medal and, in 2010, won the +75 kg class at the Oceania Championships and the Commonwealth Games, setting several records in the process and becoming only the second Samoan Commonwealth Champion in any sport. The first had been Faavae Faauliuli, who won the men’s 94 kg just one day earlier, and her brother would become the third later that day in the 105 kg division. She defended her crown at the 2011 Oceanians and Pacific Games and, after winning the 2012 Commonwealth and Oceania Championships, returned to the Olympics in London, where, after multiple doping disqualifications, she earned a silver medal, the first ever Olympic medal for Samoa in any sport. She won the 2013 and 2014 Oceanian Championships, as well as the 2014 South Pacific Championships but, at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, lost her title to Nigeria’s Mariam Usman. Nonetheless, she was able to retain her Oceanian and Pacific Games crowns in 2015. She did not compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics, although her sister Mary did in the heavyweight division. Mary carried the Samoan flag in the opening ceremony, taking over the task from Ele, who had done it in 2008 and 2012.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
2008 Summer Olympics Weightlifting SAM Ele Opeloge
Super-Heavyweight, Women (Olympic) 2 Silver
2012 Summer Olympics Weightlifting SAM Ele Opeloge
Super-Heavyweight, Women (Olympic) 5

Other participations

Games Role NOC As
2008 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony SAM Ele Opeloge
2012 Summer Olympics Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony SAM Ele Opeloge

Olympic family relations

Special Notes