‘Cause They Sleigh: Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team Qualifies For 2018 Winter Olympics
If you needed a reminder that anything is possible when you’re determined to win, look no further than the three-member women’s Nigerian bobsled team.
Images via Instagram and Obi Grant
Last December, we told you about driver Seun Adigun and brakemen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omega, who were trying to raise money to get a sled (and to cover cost of travel and more) to practice and hopefully compete for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea in February. Not only did they raise the $75,000 they needed through their GoFundMe campaign, but they ended up qualifying by excelling in five races that took place in Utah, Calgary and Whistler (British Columbia).
Adigun told KweséESPN the qualification, and representing the ol’ green-white-green for the first time ever at the winter event, is a “huge milestone for sports in Nigeria.”
“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,” she said.
Adigun has participated in the Olympics before, but it was the Summer Games in London in 2012, where she ran the 100-meter hurdles. Now she is hoping that her team can make their mark on the Winter Games.
“Our objective now is to be the best representation of Africa that the Winter Olympics have ever witnessed,” she said.
Solomon Ogba, President of the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria also said in a statement to ESPN that their hard work to get this far, not only in their physical commitments but in going out of their way to raise the funds to compete, is something we can all learn from.
“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,” he said. “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.”
If you didn’t have a reason to give the Winter Games the time of day before, you should have one now.