One of the most absorbing and highly-anticipated tales of the P y e o n g c h a n g Winter Games came to thefore on Tuesday as the Nigeria women’s bobsled team tookto the track in heats 1 and 2, becoming Africa’s first Olympic bobsledders.
It is not the appearance in the on-going 2018 Winter Olympics that threw up, the three-woman
team of driver Seun Adigun,brake women Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga – they
were not just consistent, they were result focused, but the symbol of their sacrifice for
their beloved country and the celebration of their heroism and professionalism.
The trio chose the sacrifice of representing their fatherland leaving out the pleasure of representing their host country and the fame that goes with it for a while. Germany may have won the women’s bobsled gold in PyeongChang, but the Nigeria team won hearts around the
world, and a last-place finish will not diminish their incredible story, or their place in Winter
They have truly engraved a graphic image of selflessness in the hearts of people the world over.
Less than a year and half after deciding to give this niche winter sport a go, the three Nigerian-
American women slid four completed heats down one of the trickiest tracks in the world,
cementing their names in the record books as the first Africans to bobsled in the Olympics.
Simply going to the Olympics is victory enough for the threewoman team. They are indeed
champions and should be seen as such. Their achievement in such a short space of time is an
inspiration to the world and a thing of pride to the nation. Pilot Adigun was partnered with Ngozi Onwumere for the two Wednesday heats, with the runner taking over from Akuoma.Omeoga, who ran heats one and two.
The pair were the only team to go over 52 seconds in heat three, but still quicker than their
second run on Tuesday. Heat four saw them record 52.53 seconds. They finished last in all four
runs, but not by much each time, and by no means embarrassed themselves, their financial
backers, or their country. For the team that built their own training sled out of two-by-fours
15 months ago, the emotions were visible as they celebrated their final run.
Adigun is the first African Female Bobsled driver to lead a team to Qualifying for the Winter
Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea 2018. She set up a Bobsled & Skeleton Federation of Nigeria having gone through the IOC (International Olympic Committee), 2015 and recruited
Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere to join her journey.
Both former track athletes, 2016. They signed with Temple Management Company, a Pan
African Talent management company after being contacted by the Head of Sports Koye
Sowemimo in 2017. The team planned a fund raising event in Houston, 2017 and reached
target of $150,000 fund raising in 2017. Ranked 20th in the World after Winter Olympics and set a National record of 52.21 seconds, the team has attracted global sponsorships from Visa, Toyota, Under Armour, Lazour, Bellton, Beats by Dre, Nigerian breweries and Access Bank,2017 – 2018 .
The trio gave their all because that was all they had, they did not depend on the federal
government, with help from a successful Go-fund-me campaign, the Nigerian team raised $75,000 to put toward transportation, equipment, gear and more. They did not complain of poor management by the Sports Ministry, they did not protest of non payment of any allowance, they went all the way and won the admiration of well-meaning Nigerians.
In this time of our nation’s history, it is our opinion that the Federal Government should immortalize these women of gold standard. Watching the trio at the Olympics, the world saw a
portrait of grace, intellect and determination. They were truly on duty serving their fatherland
with love and strength and faith. The team serves as a moral compass for the youths, current
leadership and inspiration for would-be leaders.
They are selfless in service and patriotic in heart. The Federal Government should, among other things, make them sports ambassadors and invite them for nationalsports festivals.
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