Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, and Akuoma Omeoga are three Nigerian women making headlines today for basically being badasses. The group is preparing to represent their country in the 2018 Winter Olympics for the first time. Not only that, but they're also working on providing more representation for their home continent in general, and they're starting an African federation for bobsledding.
"I actually started doing a little bit more research and learned that Nigeria did not have, in history, a sports team that represent bobsled," said Adigun in an interview with Okay Africa. "Then I realized that the entire continent had never been represented at the Olympic games. From my understanding, never in the history has there been a federation for bobsled for any country in Africa. The International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) were looking to expand on the continent because it’s one of the last that needed to be represented for them to get the opportunity to expand the sport."
The trio is currently based in Houston, Texas, so you can imagine that preparing for a bobsled competition isn't the easiest. However, if you've ever seen Cool Runnings (like the rest of the black community), then you know it's possible.
“Since we can’t get practice time on ice, what we do is we just focus on strengthening," said Omeoga. "So weightlifting and sprinting—since we all have that background—is something we already know how to do, but it’s just another repetition; just getting it in when you can.”
And I'm sure it helps that the three are naturally bonding through the process. "She’s made us little engineers!" said Onwumere about Adigun's contribution to the group. "We literally took wood in her garage and just started building things... It helps to know that you’re not alone. In any situation that you’re in, as long as I have two other ladies that know exactly what hectic schedules are and how we’re dealing with that, that always helps."
They're friends betweem training schedules. All three of them are students at the University of Houston, and all have very different aspirations, from a Masters in fitness to a Doctorate.
With such busy schedules, they're hoping to find others interested in assisting their worthy cause. Donate to their GoFundMe campaign here and read more about their plans for the future in the full interview.
[Photo: OkayAfrica, Seun Adigun]