Monday, February 5, 2018

Dreaming and creating - the first Nigerian bobsled team at the Winter Olympics

In warmer countries like Ireland the Winter Olympics can slide under the radar, but who couldn't love the heart-warming story of the first Nigerian bobsled team?

Ok so the three members of the team Nigerian-Americans but they live in Texas where the climate is about as far from snowy as you can get in the USA. Their journey from there to PyeongChang really started back in 2012 when team-founder Seun Adigun represented the States in the 100m sprint.

Unwilling to walk away from the Olympic buzz, Seun looked around for a new sport to try.  Seun has said she became involved with training for the US bobsled team simply because they held trials near her home, and then realised Nigeria had no team. More research showed her no African country had ever entered the bobsled.

And contrary to the Live Aid tune (which famously claimed 'there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas') there is quite a lot of snow in many African countries. So the lack of a team is more surprising than it seems on first look.

It's an incredible and inspiring thought process. It reminds me of listening to boxers like Katie Taylor talking about their Olympic dream in the years before AIBA allowed women in the tournament. It seems normal now two Olympic cycles on but it's not so long ago that Taylor was doing demo-bouts in front of IOC officials to prove women really know how to box.

There's so much you can take from this - Seun created an opportunity for herself out of thin air. Thin air and a homemade sled to start off with.

So if you're looking for some motivation for your next challenge, watch this video and get following the bobsled events.  Full schedule here with Bobsleigh opening on the 15th. 

Read more about the Nigeria Bobsled team 


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