Thirty years ago, the Jamaican bobsled team made waves around the world when they entered the Olympic bobsled race and now three women from Nigeria are looking to make history of their own in the event.
The women, driver Seun Adigun, brakewomen Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere have qualified for Pyeongchang 2018. This will be the first time the African nation will be represented in the sport at the Winter Olympics.
Nigerians have had success in the Summer Olympics in the past but no Nigerian, male or female, has ever competed in the Winter Olympics. This women’s team completed all five qualifying races and will next be on their way to South Korea in February.
“Ecstatic to say the least!” stated the Bobsled & Skeleton Sports Federation of Nigeria (BSFN). “To see a mere dream come to reality is a true blessing.”
“Their hard work was inspiring and I hope Nigerians can appreciate what it took for them to achieve this,” said BSFN president Solomon Ogba.
“They are all very successful people in their own right — in sports and out of it, and somehow they are still motivated and still push for more success.
“I have watched them train and work hard to represent Nigeria at the Winter Olympics in a very technical and high-risk sport and they have achieved that.”
Before competing in bobsled, the three women were professional track and field athletes.
Adigun, who used to dream about being the first woman in the NBA was very successful in the 100m hurdles. She won the national championships multiple times and represented Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Now the three are about to make history. “We are from a continent that would never imagine sliding down ice at 80 or 90 miles per hour,” Adigun said. “I find the idea of getting people to take to that inspiring in itself.”