Published: Sat, November 18, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Nigeria's bobsled women's team on brink of Winter Olympics dream

Nigeria's bobsled women's team on brink of Winter Olympics dream

Reaction to their qualification in Nigeria was largely one of surprise, with many people unaware the football-mad country even had a bobsled team.

"I was inspired to start the Nigerian Women's Bobsled team in hopes of being the first ever African representative, men or women, to qualify for the Winter Olympic Games in the sport of Bobsled", she said.

The Olympic bobsledding world just got a little bigger. Adigun, a US -based former sprinter who ran for Nigeria in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, started the project from scratch past year, recruiting two other USA -based Nigerian sprinters - Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga - to join her.

In an interview with CBC, Adigun revealed the team trained for the Olympics by building their own sled out of wood they bought at a hardware store.

"Our objective now is to be the best representation of Africa that the Winter Olympics have ever witnessed", she told KweséESPN.

But this is not Cool Runnings II, a sequel to the Jamaican bobsleigh team's winter fantasy immortalised in the Hollywood hit movie. The trio eventually were able to fund their way through the five qualifying races necessary to become Winter Olympians.

PyeongChang accommodation recommendations
PyeongChang accommodation recommendations

They went on to Whistler, Canada for their second track where Adigun and brakeman, Onwumere were the only team to complete the first race.

Without access to proper training equipment or valuable ice time to flawless their skills, the members of the Nigerian Women's Bobsleigh Team started their journey on the snow-less grounds of Houston, Texas, in a wooden sled they nicknamed "The Maeflower".

"I commend the personal dedication and commitment of these women", Nigerian Bobsled and Skeleton Federation President Solomon Ogba told ESPN.

Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga will not be heading to February's games just to be a feelgood side story, they are looking for a medal.

Like Nigeria, Uganda is hoping to make history this year, as well, thanks to 24-year-old snowboarder Brolin Mawejje.

"We are so proud of our Women's Bobsled team being eligible to qualify for the Winter Olympic Games", it added after they completed their last qualifying run in Calgary on Thursday.

Like this: