The three Nigerian women who made remarkable feat as the first athletes from Africa to have participated at the just concluded 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, have arrived in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the athletes arrived to a tumultuous welcome at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos on Tuesday night.
The trio of Seun Adigun, and brakemen, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga, visibly filled with joy, were quick to oblige NAN an interview.
Omeoga told NAN the sport created an awareness that has put Nigeria on the map as the first African country to participate in the Winter Olympics.
“I think that this has brought an awareness to the sport, and definitely a great arc to Nigeria.
“It is not only Nigerians who care about bobsled or care as to what it is that we are doing, but everybody in the entire world,” Omeoga said.
She said that they had to embark on the task to inspire Nigerians at home and in the diaspora, adding that bobsled found them.
“We are also inspiring huge persons and athletes to come back to Nigeria, to serve their country.
“Just because you are not born here does not mean you cannot do anything to represent your country and take pride in it,” she said.
Onwumere said that this act was more than just a sport.
“I think it means more than just a sport. I do not think that we have ever done something that has just been about one thing.
“It think the major goal was to propel Nigeria into positive light, our entire plan was to bring the continent of Africa and to make the world know that Africans can do amazing things.
“And if that is the case, Nigeria should be the first at it and I am happy that we are receptive and very proud of us,” Onwumere told NAN.
“Adigun, the driver of the crew said: “We are from a continent that would never imagine sliding down ice at 80 or 90 mile per hour.
“The whole idea of getting people to take to that in itself is empowering.”
NAN reports that the Jamaican men who made bobsledding history 30 year ago became the inspiration for the trios from the movie “Cool Runnings”.
On their part, the Nigerian Women Bobsled team has a background from track and field.
Adigun competed for Nigeria at the 2012 London Olympic Games as a hurdler and ran for the University of Houston, Texas.
Onwumere won two medals as a sprinter at the 2015 All Africa Games, while Omeoga was a sprinter at Minnesota.
Their bobsled journey started in Houston, with a wooden sled they named “The Mayflower”, after the first vessel that brought the first set of immigrants from England to America in 1620.
They started a GoFundMe to help raise money for the process and signed a sponsorship deal with Visa.
The Temple Management Company (TMC) also played a big role in their arrival in Lagos.