Seun, Ngozi & Akuoma will be first Nigerian representatives at the Winter Olympics Games
Three Nigerian women, Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga are set to make history by being the first Nigerian representatives to participate in the Winter Olympic Games come 2018, in the sport of Bobsled.
Only a few African countries like South Africa, Morrocco, and Algeria have ever participated in the Winter Olympics for the obvious reason that only a few countries on the continent experience a snowy weather. But the trio based in the United States are determined to add Nigeria to the list as they vie for a spot at the event which will be taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The three athletes have started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds and create an awareness around the historical feat they are set to accomplish in the next two years. Adigun who actually conceived the idea, and went on to recruit her other team members, describes the project as a difficult one, but also as one of the most impactful things she will ever initiate.
“The fate of Nigeria’s eligibility to be represented in the 2018 Winter Olympics rests exclusively on my ability to qualify as a competent driver. I decided to accept this responsibility and recruited two wonderful young women, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga, as my brakemen.”
Two of the three women have on several occasions represented Nigeria in an international event. According to reports, team driver, Adigun, represented Nigeria at the World Championships in Berlin and Daegu in 2009 and 2011 respectively. She also competed at the London 2012 Olympics.
Onwumere competed at the World Relays in the Bahamas last year and clinched a Silver and Gold medal at the African Games in Congo Brazzaville in the 200m and 400m relay. But for Omeoga, it seems the 2018 Winter Games would be her first outing for Nigeria.
Between now and the 2018 Winter Games, the aspiring Nigerian Women’s Bobsled team need to raise $150,000, about 47 million naira, to successfully execute their historic run. The money would be used to fund the following:
- – A bobsled for practice and competition
- Sled Runners (blades on the base)
- Tools for the sled
- Ice time for practice
- Cost of shipping the sled to different tracks
- Transportation, lodging, travel expenses
- Winter gear, including shoes, jackets, spikes, and travel bags
- Team competition gear – helmets, uniforms, practice gear, etcetera
- Athlete insurance
- Miscellaneous (registration and membership fees)
So far, in five days, the team has raised $1,620 of their $150,000 goal. Hopefully, they will gain enough traction to raise, and probably even surpass their goal in the next 13 months. One would also hope that the Nigerian government lend a helping hand to these remarkable women as it presents a good opportunity to redeem themselves after all the shenanigans in and around the 2016 Rio Olympic Games three months ago.