These Nigerian Bobsledders Are All About Firsts

Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere will make history as the first athletes to represent Nigeria and the first African bobsled team to compete at the Winter Olympics. CROP FOR SOCIAL. (Photo: The Ellen Show/YouTube)

When you think about Africa, you probably don’t think about snow. The continent is known for its record-breaking high temperatures, particularly in the countries close to the equator, like Nigeria. But those high temperatures and lack of snow have not stopped three women from pursuing their dream to represent Nigeria at the Winter Olympics.

Thanks to that dream, Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere will make history at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea as the first bobsled team to represent any African country at the Winter Olympics and the first athletes to represent Nigeria at the Winter Games.

It wasn’t easy selling the idea of a Nigerian bobsled team in a country where most people have never heard of the sport, but that’s the thing about big dreams that make history. They rarely come easy.

Adigun, the team’s driver and leader, along with Omeoga and Onwumere, are all former track athletes. With little funding to start, the trio set up a GoFundMe page and met their initial fundraising goal of $75,000, which allowed them to begin training.

But it was an appearance on "Ellen" that really shot the trio into the limelight, as you can see in the video above.

The video of their appearance went viral (with more than 1.6 million views to date) and the team began attracting big sponsors, such as the sports apparel company Under Armour and global commerce giant Visa.

Adigun, Omeoga, and Onwumere know all too well how difficult it can be to try something that hasn't been tried before. “When you are the first person to do something, there is no blueprint for the optimal plan of action,” said Seun in an interview with She Leads Africa.

So Adigun, Omeoga and Onwumere are making their own blueprint, and in the process they'll slide their way right into the history books. Let’s hope they bring a medal (Nigeria’s first from the Winter Olympics!) along with them.