Nigeria will be attending the Winter Olympics for the first time ever, after their women’s team qualified for the bobsled event at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.
Driver Seun Adigun and brakemen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga completed the fifth of their required five qualifying races on Wednesday, becoming the first African team, men or women, to qualify in the Bobsled category.
In women’s bobsled, teams are required to complete five races to qualify. The Nigeria team, led by driver Adigun – a former African 100m hurdles champion and 2012 summer Olympian – completed races in Utah, one in Whistler, and their final two races in Calgary on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“This is a huge milestone for sports in Nigeria,” driver Adigun told KweséESPN. “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.
“Our objective now is to be the best representation of Africa that the Winter Olympics have ever witnessed.”
Solomon Ogba, President of the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria, was understandably thrilled at the achievement, saying via a media statement: “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.”
Nigeria could yet secure another spot at the Games, with driver Simidele Adeagbo just two races away from qualifying for the Skeleton competition.