Three Nigerian women made history this week when they became the first ever African bobsled team, male or female, to qualify for the Winter Olympics.
The 2018 Winter Games will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea and the three women, who are Texas based, will compete in at least one event for Nigeria.
ECSTATIC to say the LEAST. We are so proud of our Women's Bobsled Team being eligible to qualify for the Winter Olympic Games! Congratulations @seun_msamazing @akuomaomeoga @ngozi.onwumere You Ladies showed nothing but pure heart and dedication. To see a mere dream come to reality is a true blessing. God bless you all and thank you for representing Nigeria so well! #bsfnigeria #NigeriaBobsled #underarmour @underarmour #teamua #wewill #nigeria #nigerianathletes
The three women finished the fifth of five qualifying races to secure qualification yesterday. Driver Seun Adigun, brakemen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga all live in America and started out desperately short of funds. They initially had to raise finances through a GoFundMe to buy a sled and at first practised with a homemade wooden sled. 2017 was the first time they raced on ice.
In the aftermath of their success they secured team Visa sponsorship after Visa heard about their story.
Solomon Ogba, the President of the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria praised the women in a statement on Thursday:
I commend the personal dedication and commitment of these women.
Their hard work was inspiring and I hope Nigerians can appreciate what it took for them to achieve this - the work, the discipline, and the personal sacrifices. They were amazing throughout this journey.
Adigun is not a novice to the Olympics having represented Nigeria in the 100-metre hurdles event at the 2012 London summer Games.
The trio are also the Nigeria's first ever representative's at the games. Their delight at finishing is clear to see:
Seun Adigun cited the story of the Jamaican bobsled qualification to the 1988 Winter Olympics, made famous in the film 'Cool Runnings', during an interview with CBS last year:
These men did something very special and to be able to have every who hearing our story and put us on the same line of legacy these men created that's really honourable.