Nigerian Bobsled Team Will Participate in 2018 Winter Olympics for First Time

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The three-member team, consisting of driver Seun Adigun and brakemen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omega, qualified for the event after five qualifying races in the USA state of Utah, as well as Canadian locations in Whistler and Calgary.

The 30-year-old told U.S. sports broadcaster ESPN that the achievement was a "huge milestone" for Nigerian sport.

Without access to proper training equipment or valuable ice time to ideal their skills, the members of the Nigerian Women's Bobsled Team started their journey on the snow-less grounds of Houston, Texas, in a wooden sled they nicknamed 'The Maeflower.' Once the team set their sights on the Olympic Winter GamesPyeongChang 2018, they established acrowdfundingwebsite hoping to raise themuch-needed funds to get to PyeongChang.

Last December, the team had to resort to crowdfunding to back their ambitions of reaching the Winter Olympics. They initially had to raise finances through a GoFundMe to buy a sled and at first practised with a homemade wooden sled.

The President of the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria, Solomon Ogba was thrilled at the team's qualification.

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"I commend the personal dedication and commitment of these women". They were wonderful throughout this journey. "Nothing makes me prouder than to know that I can play a small role in creating opportunities for winter sports to take place in Nigeria".

"They are all very successful people in their own right - in sports and out of it, and somehow they are still motivated and still push for more success". The team is the first African team to qualify in the bobsled category. Onwumere won two medals as a sprinter at the 2015 African Games, and Omeoga was a sprinter at Minnesota.

American Olympic favorite Lolo Jones also made the jump from track to bobsled in the Olympic games. He now is the president of the Senegalese Ski Federation. She competed in the 2008 and 2012 summer games as well as the 2014 Olympic winter games.

Robel Teklemariam, from Ethiopia, had no initial backing on the pursue of his Olympic dream. The team's story revives memories of the Jamaican men's bobsled's team's participation in the 1988 Calgary Games in Canada that inspired the 1993 film Cool Runnings.

Athletes from Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Togo an Zimbabwe have also participated in the Winter Olympics. The success of this bobsled team will positively affect millions of people all over the world and will represent monumental global advancements in social, athletic, and economic statuses.