18 November 2017

Nigeria's Bobsled Women's Team Eyes Winter Olympics

Photo: BSFNigeria/Instagram
Nigeria's women bobsled team.

Nigeria may be within grasp of a historic first ever appearance in the winter Olympics, but the three members of the Super Eagles women's bobsleigh team have bigger goals than simply qualifying to race next year in Pyeongchang.

Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga will not be heading to February's games just to be a feelgood side story, they are looking for a medal.

No African nation has ever competed in an Olympic bobsled event and for this trio of trail-blazing Nigerian women getting to the winter games is where their journey begins, not ends.

They took a big step towards that goal this week in Calgary by completing the fifth of their required five qualifying races on the same track the Jamaican bobsled team shot to global fame at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

"We have goals," Adigun, the driver and driving force behind the dream of a Nigerian team said. "I know the goal I have as a driver is to drive us to the podium, that's just the competitor in me.

"A lot of our goals have been met just establishing this entire entity, starting this process and making our way to the games.

"Obviously, the bigger goal is to just be as competitive as we can and obviously shoot for the podium."

Although the Nigerians have achieved the qualifying standard, there is still work to be done. Countries hoping to race in Pyeongchang must be in the top 40 of the global rankings on 14 January 14 after seven World Cup races.

While the Nigerians have a little further to go, they have come a long way.

Adigun, who fell in love with the sport as a brakewoman in the US bobsled program, estimated the Olympic bid to cost around $150,000.

"We did a homecoming in April as team to just go and introduce ourselves to the country so people would know we are serious," Adigun said. "This is something we wanted to do for the continent and the country."

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