22 January 2018

Nigeria's Winter Olympic Debut #Pyeongchang2018

The Nigerian flag will for the first time parade in an opening ceremony of a Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on 9th February. Indeed they will have an all female team taking part in 2 events the women's bob and skeleton. 

Sean Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, and Akuoma Omeoga are the women of the Nigerian bobsleigh team. They reached the qualification standard in November but how to consistently remain the in the world top 60 until mid January to ensure their qualification.

The three are all former Athletes and indeed this will not be driver Sean Adigun's first Olympic experience, she took part in the 100m hurdles in the 2012 London Olympics but finished 4th in her heat and did not advance.

It was Seun who is studying for a Doctorate in Chiropractics in Texas who first experienced the sport getting involved as a brakewoman on the American programme. She realised that the sport could really develop into new areas and reached out to Onwumere who she used to coach who retired from athletics ahead of Rio 2016 and Omeoga.

Thirty years on from Jamaica's dramatic debut in Calgary, Africa can now say they have a bobsled team.

The rest of the Nigerian team is also a slider Simidele Adeagbo was born in Canada 36 years ago and was a NCAA champion Triple Jumper during her time at the University of Kentucky. She too had hopes of the Olympics gave up on her dream in 2008. However, when she heard of Seun's ambitions to get a bobsleigh to Pyeongchang she too became inspired by Seun and her team's dream. She went for try out for the Nigerian Bobsled and Skeleton Federation in Houston, Texas where her triple jump experience helped her get up to speed to hop unto a sled after 30 metres.

These are the first female competitors from Africa to take part in the sliding events and along with Ghana's Akwasi Frimpong, who moved to the Netherlands when he was eight, taking part in the mens's skeleton they are the first African sliders since South Africa's Tyler Botha made Africa's only sliding appearance at Turin in 2006 in the Men's skeleton.

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