All photos by: Obi Grant
Black girl magic alert! For the first time ever, Nigeria will be represented in the Winter Olympics by the women’s bobsled team at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The team includes driver Seun Adigun and brakewomen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga.
The team, which was only formed in 2016, qualified for the event over five races held in Utah, Whistler and Calgary. They are the first African team, men or women, to qualify in the bobsled category.
The members of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team started their journey on the snow-less grounds of Houston, Texas, in a wooden sled they nicknamed The Maeflower. All former sprinters, two of the three team members have previously competed in competitions representing Nigeria. Seun Adigun represented Nigeria in the 100m hurdles at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
With a desire to get back on the Olympic stage, she began training for bobsled in 2014. Ngozi Onwumere clinched a Silver and Gold medal at the 2015 African Games in Republic of the Congo in the 200m and 4x100m relay, respectively. Onwumere started training after being recruited by Adigun in 2016.
Their qualification comes right after the announcement that Visa will sponsor the team for their competition at the Winter Olympics. The sponsorship was a result of the team’s hard work and determination along with a crowdfund on GoFundMe that they created in the hopes of raising the much-needed funds to get to Pyeongchang. After seeing the page, Visa pledged to guarantee the team’s place at the 2018 Winter Olympics should they qualify.
“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.”
Congratulations, ladies! We’ll be rooting for you!