Nigerian bobsled team debuts at the Winter Olympics

PYEONGCHANG, North Korea (NBCNC) – Three all American-born, first-generation Nigerian immigrants will represent the African nation in the bobsled in its Winter Olympics debut.

The country is one of eight African nations competing in the winter games this year.

Team driver Seun Adigun said her roots are as important as her birthplace, which is what pushed her to create Nigeria’s first-ever bobsled team.

Brakewoman Ngozi Owumere said preserving her African culture was a priority for her. She added that the team’s Olympic journey has only reinforced the importance of that heritage and leaving a legacy in Nigeria’s name.

At the opening ceremony, the team wore a traditional green and white Yoruba, usually worn on special occasions.

Seun Adigun said, “Although we’re American, we’re also Nigerian. We’re actually Nigerian first. And that is the one culture that we know, the one culture that we were raised to respect and understand. So it’s almost like second nature to be Nigerian and represent Nigeria and show our patriotism. Because everything that we’ve always done has always been for the positive impact and betterment of our American existence, but nothing has really been able to contribute to the progression of Nigeria which we so equally claim.

“Just because you don’t know what it means to see snow or to understand temperatures that are equivalent to ice, that doesn’t mean that you have to shy away from it. Sometimes you just take the opportunity to learn and you’ll be surprised how well you can thrive at that. And I think that’s what Africa is representing as this being the most Africans at a Winter Olympics this year, is that we can take those risks and still be able to compete with the best in the world.”

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