Nigeria's first ever Winter Olympics quartet hopeful of making history by winning medals

NIGERIA'S first ever contingent to a Winter Olympics are optimistic of creating history by picking up the country's first ever medals in what has traditionally been considered a Caucasian tournament.


For the first time ever, Nigeria paraded a team at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeoyang yesterday. Made up of four women Ngozi Onwumere, Akuoma Omeoga, and Seun Adigun, who will compete in the Bobsled event and Simi Adeagbo who will compete in the Skeleton event, the quartet are optimistic.


Adeagbo goes first in the Skeleton event, which starts on February 12, with the medals presentation is scheduled for Saturday, February 17. That same day, the Bobsled team gets into action, with their medals ceremony scheduled for February 21.


Known as the Games of Peace, the opening ceremony yesterday was characterised by the joint march by North and South Korean athletes and the participation from tropical countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Tonga, and Jamaica. Ngozi Onwumere was Nigeria’s flag bearer as the all-female team, accompanied by the chef de mission at the embassy, Gbenga Elegbeleye, marched onto the venue behind Greece and Ghana.


South Africa,  Madagascar,  Morocco,  Eritrea,  Kenya and Togo are the other African nations participating in the tournament. Over 6,000 athletes from 92 countries are attending the games at which the Nigerian ladies were clad in a white  overall apparels with green lining and matched with green head gears.


Ms Adigun said: “Everybody is going absolutely nuts, the crazy thing about it is most people don’t really understand what bobsleigh is but they don’t care. They just know the flag is raising high, and they are excited about it.


“After realising that my participation as a brake man on the United States women’s bobsleigh team had grown to be far larger than me, I knew this was something I had to do. I noticed my ability to potentially empower and positively influence millions of people resided in my decision to give back to the country of Nigeria.


All four women in the bobsleigh team were born in the US. Like many expats in the African diaspora, they all understand the broader vision and the impact they can have on the lives of others.