Nigerian Bobsled Team Brought Something More Valuable Than Gold To The Olympics

The Nigerian bobsled team didn’ t bring home the gold. However they didn’ t leave the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang empty-handed.

After picking up bobsledding skills just 15 months prior to competing, Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere’ s green and white-colored Nigerian flags are flying higher with pride in South Korea.   These women have done some thing no one else has done before.

Upon Tuesday, the trio became the particular first Olympic bobsled team in history to represent an African country. And they didn’ t take their particular accomplishment lightly.

Adigun, the driver, recalls watching Simone Biles, Ibtihaj Muhammad and other black athletes break obstacles at the 2016 Summer Olympics within Brazil and feeling inspired.  

“ I got chills on the skin, ” she told HuffPost in December during an event for the team’ s partnership with Visa . “ I remember how it made myself feel seeing them and the actual molds that were being broken by way of a perseverance and by their just prominence in whatever sport it was they were competing in. ”

The particular Nigerian-American athlete, who represented the particular U. S. track and industry team in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, recruited Omeoga and Onwumere and set out to make a mark right after realizing that no African country had ever had a bobsled consultant at the 2018 Games.

The trio, who grew up in the U. T and all have a background in monitor and field, trained in Houston. They will crafted a sleigh and called it the Mayflower. Their fast-track training, combined with sponsors who given to their GoFundMe, earned them an area in the 2018 Winter Olympics.    

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Adigun and Omeoga competed within Tuesday’ s two-woman bobsled occasion, finishing the heat in 52. twenty one seconds. Though they finished within 20th place out of 20, time was a personal best for them in the Olympics and a reason for further special event.

Onwumere said she believes it’ s important  “ to stand for not only people of color yet Africa… we represent so many things in a single and to be able to positively represent that will says something. ”

They have a new lot to celebrate, even a few months before they first qualified for that 2018 Games in November. They’ ve been featured in head lines and in viral dancing videos, since fans and admirers beam along with pride at the door they flung open. It created a ripple because the trio inspired Simidele Adeagbo to break a barrier of her very own, becoming the first skeleton racer in order to represent Nigeria at this year’ s i9000 Olympics.  

“ Growing up as being a little kid, you always search for people who either represent you in certain sort of fashion, ” Omeoga informed HuffPost. “ Whether that become the clothes they wear, whether that will be the way that they talk, everything like that so to see that we could become that… that aha moment for several people, that’ s absolutely incredible to me. ”  

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Nigeria’s can certainly bobsleigh and skeleton team members Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, Akuoma Omeoga and Simidele Adeagbo.

The particular team made their final operate on Wednesday. Though they didn’ big t earn any medals, they were nevertheless victorious in showing the world an additional form of black girl magic it’ s never seen.    

“ This is the first, ” Onwumere said. “ This is gonna drop in history. ”

They hope to encourage others, especially from the continent, to consider this and other winter sports in the future.

“ It takes a special type of individual to consider a fear of the unknown. Which is exactly what we are trying to show individuals who you can do, ” Adigun said. “[People from] a sub-Saharan weather can do anything. There’ s simply way too much innovation in this world for people to consider they need to be limited to their own conditions. ”

“ All that we stand for is everything that you see, ” the girl added. “ That is very powerful. ”