Team Nigeria, represented by Akuoma Omeoga and Seun Adigun on Tuesday entered the record books as the first Africans to feature in bobsleigh event at the Winter Games.
Despite bringing in the rear in the women’s heat 1 and 2 – they finished in 52.21 seconds and 52.55 seconds to place 20th – the still have a lot of reasons to celebrate as their timing was an improvement on the one from their training heats on Sunday – 52.96 and 53.60.
Ahead of Heats 3 and 4 coming up later today, Akuoma and Seun are upbeat about their chances of competing on more even footing.
“The Olympic experience is really unique, it’s an experience you can’t really articulate,” Akuoma was quoted by The Guardian as saying.
“Nigerians are incredibly proud and I think one of our goal was to present Nigeria in a positive light. It gives people a reason to celebrate something.”
Their incredible journey to the Olympics gripped the entire nation, and the brakeman said she was honoured by the frequent comparisons to the film Cool Runnings, which portrayed a fictional account of the Jamaican bobsleigh team’s debut at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
“That’s the legacy that we hope to have in 30 years to come,” she said.
Pilot Seun added, “I don’t think it’s hit us how impactful this whole process will be in the long run.”
“You don’t have to quantify things by just the result of first place, second place or any time. You can actually quantify it by your ability to be selfless, your ability to drive and your ability to be innovative. This was just meant to be.”
Alongside the Bobsleigh duo, Canada-born US-based Nigerian Simidele Adeagbo on Friday made history as the first African woman to compete in the skeleton event at the Winter Olympics.
Sports Minister Solomon Dalung is presently Pyoengchang to support the Nigerian contingent.