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Nigeria to debut at 2018 Winter Olympics

333   //    06 Jan 2018, 11:58 IST


The Nigerian national Bobsled team

What's the story?

Bobsledding might be a sport which is unknown in many parts of the world, but its reach is gradually spreading in the build-up to the 2018 Winter Olympics. Nigeria, a country from Africa which has never taken part in the Games will be making their debut as three American-Nigerian women will be visiting PyeongChang for the Bobsled event.

This is Nigeria’s first ever Bobsled team made several efforts before achieving their goal. Sean Adigun, Akuma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere together form the squad for the event in the upcoming Games. 

In case you didn't know...

Bobsleigh is a winter sport in which teams consisting of two or four participants make timed runs down narrow, twisted, ice-tacks in a sleigh. The event has been a part of the Winter Olympics since the inaugural edition in 1924.

The heart of the matter

Sean Adigun represented the African nation at the 2012 London Olympics in the 100 metres hurdles category following which she wanted to be a part of Olympics once again. Later, she started taking interest in Bobsledding after consulting with a fellow track-and-field athlete. Within a year she acted as a brakewoman for the US National Bobsled team, after which she decided to make efforts to build a team for her home nation.

Akuma Omeoga became familiar with the discipline after interacting with her track-and-field coach who regularly competed with the US Bobsled team. Later, Adigun was successful in persuading Omeoga to join the Nigerian national team. Ngozi Onwumere was not much inclined to participate in the team, but her near and dear ones convinced her to be a part of Bobsledding for Nigeria.

Another cause for participating in the mega event was to raise funds for the bobsled along with various apparatus needed for the sport like tolls for the sled, ice time, the cost of shipping the sled to different tracks, winter gear and athlete insurance.

Speaking on the matter, Adigun said, “We are proud to be part of a team that shares our mission and has connected us with the resources we needed to reach our goal, and hopefully empower others to do the same.” 

What's next?

For the Nigerian National Bobsled team, Adigun will take the role of the driver while Akuma and Ngozi will act as brakewomenmen. The Winter Olympics will start in South Korea on 9th February and conclude on 25th of the same month. 

Author's take

Previously, the participation in the Winter Olympics was confined to only a few nations, but with the incredible effort made by the Nigerians, it has opened the possibility for other countries to take be part of it too. Hopefully, Bobsled will become more popular in the upcoming days.

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A sports lover par excellence. Keeping track of sports-related events around the world is my passion, addiction, and would like to take it up as a profession. India locking horns with Pakistan in front of a packed Eden Gardens is a sight I crave for.
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