Press Release by Chisom Mbonu
Three Nigerian women have made history by qualifying for the Bobsled competition of the 2018 Winter OlympicGames.
It is the first time in the country’s history that it will be represented at the Winter Olympics.
Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga wrote their names in the history books by becoming the first African team, men or women, to qualify for the Bobsled category, after completing the required 5 races.
An emotional Adigun was elated at the achievement
“I am extremely excited – almost to a point of being overwhelmed by the different emotions.
“This is a huge milestone for sports in Nigeria,” she said.
“Nothing makes me prouder than to know that I can play a small role in creating opportunities for winter sports to take place in Nigeria.”
The grueling process started in 2016 when the team’s driver, former African 100m hurdles champion Adigun, teamed up with her brakemen, Onwumere and Omeoga, on the ice.
Adigun’s first encounter with the sport was as a brakeman for the USA Women’s Blobsled Team in 2015, before deciding to push for a Nigerian team.
The women went on to train in Utah, New Zealand, South Korea and Canada, as they learned to steer the sled down the sloppy ice tracks at a speed of 110 to 120 kilometers per hour, crashing a few times in the process.
Their first qualifying race was in the North America Cup in Park City, Utah, where Seun and her brakeman Akuoma completed two races in January.
They went on to Whistler, Canada, for their second track where Adigun and brakeman Onwumere, were the only team to complete the first race as other teams crashed out of what was a very difficult track.
Their hard work paid off in Calgary, when they completed their fourth and fifth races for a place at the 23rd Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
An excited President of the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria, Chief Solomon Ogba, congratulated the team on the historic feat, commending their dedication and hard work.
“I commend the personal dedication and commitment of these women. Their hard work was inspiring and I hope Nigerians can appreciate what it took for them to achieve this – the work, the discipline, and the personal sacrifices. They were amazing throughout this journey.
“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. They should be very proud, and I am very proud of them.”
The team also received a congratulatory message from the President of the Nigeria Olympics Committee, Habu Gumel.
The Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria is still on track for a spot in the Skeleton competition with driver Simidele Adeagbo two races away from another historic achievement for Nigeria.
For more information, visit their website.