Nigeria’s women’s bobsled team debut at the winter Olympics was the first ever from the African continent. Finishing 20th in the overall standings at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
The Nigerian women’s bobsleigh team though finishing 20th on Wednesday left with their pride intact after an emotional Olympic debut in the crackpot winter pursuit.
The enthusiastic team of three finished just about seven seconds behind gold medalists Germany.
“It’s quite amazing, I’m overwhelmed with joy and overwhelmed with the idea of knowing that history was made and we gave everything we had to do it,” said Adigun, after bumping off several walls in a ragged final run.
“This was just one of those days that you can’t really describe,” she added. “Full of all kinds of emotions — full of relief, full of history.”
No African nation has won a winter medal but the Nigeria women plan to try again at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
“By God’s grace you will see Nigeria in Beijing,” said the Texas-based Adigun, after failing to improve on Tuesday’s personal best.
“We did everything we could. People are super-stoked back in Nigeria. We just pray all of our resilience does foster into some future athletes.”
Nigerian duo Seun Adigun and Akuoma Omeoga “made history in 52.21 seconds”
Their inspirational journey has touched many sports fans.
The Nigerian team was founded less than two years ago by US-born Adigun, who represented Nigeria in the 100m hurdles at the 2012 London Games.
After watching the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, “I kind of had Olympic fever again”, Adigun told CBC.
“I knew quite a few track and field athletes who had transitioned into the winter sports, so I figured, ‘You know, I think I could try this’.”
After learning how to drive a bobsled, Adigun recruited fellow Nigerian-Americans Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga – both also former sprinters – as brakemen for Nigeria’s first-ever bobsleigh team.Only Adigun, who previously trained with the US bobsleigh squad, has raced on ice before, and until recently the team trained on a wooden sled that Adigun built herself.