Nigeria is on the brink of competing in its first Winter Olympics ever.
Leading the African nation’s bid for a history-making spot in the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, is its women’s bobsled team. The three-woman team includes driver Seun Adigun and brakewomen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga.
Meet The Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team
The team completed the last of their five required qualifying races last week in Calgary. In fact, they raced on the same track as the Jamaican bobsled team of Cool Runnings fame. Like the Jamaican squad, the Nigerian team relies on accomplished sprinters. Now, a spot to compete in the women’s bobsled competition in February is within reach.
Check out this behind-the-scenes clip of their fifth qualifying race.
Adigun is no stranger to Olympic competition. She competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in the 100-meter hurdles. She also recognizes the magnitude of what she and her teammates have accomplished so far.
“This is a huge milestone for sports in Nigera,” Adigun told ESPN. “Our objective now is to be the best representation of Africa that the Winter Olympics have ever witnessed.”
With help from a successful GoFundMe campaign, the Nigerian team raised $75,000 to put toward transportation, equipment, gear and more.
“The success of this bobsled team will positively affect millions of people all over the world and will represent monumental international advancements in social, athletic and economic statuses,” Adigun shared on the fundraising page. “Together, we can demonstrate that nothing is impossible with a little faith, support and willingness to persevere.”
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Adigun’s Winter Olympic dream began with a homemade sled in her Texas garage. They have come a long way since then. Still, they have several World Cup races to go to achieve their historic run. In order to clinch a spot to race in Pyeongchang, they must be ranked in the top 40 on Jan. 14, 2018 (they are currently ranked 42nd).
One more Nigerian has sights set on Pyeongchang. Driver Simidele Adeagbo is three races away from qualifying for the skeleton competition (the single-driver style of bobsled where drivers lie facedown on their sleds).