3 Woman Bobsled Team Set to Represent Nigeria in 1st Winter Olympics


In the country’s first appearance in a Winter Olympic sporting event, Nigeria will be represented by a three-woman bobsled team in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The members of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team are Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, and Akuoma Omeoga. The determined US-based trio are hopeful of capturing gold and in doing so, spreading an important message to the rest of the world.

Similar to its summer seasoned counterpart, the Winter Olympics is traditionally held every 4 years. The games feature most winter sports including ice hockey, skiing, curling and bobsledding. Remember, with these sports being held in icier conditions, it is important for athletes in training to practice in similar conditions that they will experience throughout the winter olympic games. Interesting enough, participation in the Winter Olympics has become exclusive to athletes from countries with similar year round conditions like North America or Northern/North-East Europe. Financially, the cost of, as well as having access to, the advanced high tech gear required to compete in the games is very high for potential athletes in Africa. Barriers like these discourage athletes from the Olympic Games because they lack the financial support needed to pursue.

However, it is clear that regardless of theses barriers, the nigerian trio’s purpose of going to the olympics still remains true.  The wonder women of the Nigerian Women’s  Bobsled Team want to win gold to inspire those back home to dream big and popularize the sport in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.

“Together, we can demonstrate that nothing is impossible with a little faith, support, and willingness to persevere.” - Seun Adigun,

The team’s decision to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics was influenced by recent push of the Olympic Committees of several different African countries. This was done in wanting to expand the number of sport events athletes compete in. The significance in increasing the numbers of athletes that compete may bring increased attention towards theses countries economically, as well as increase the number of medals won for the competing countries.

Many nations hope to improve their overall medal victories at the games. A technique used to solve this is by the nation grooming its athletes to participate in other sports that have a high medal turnover rate such as swimming or gymnastics. The athletic trio has launched a GoFundMe page in order to raise $150,000. The money will be used towards equipment, logistics, and to create awareness towards what they plan to accomplish at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

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Southern Illinois University track & field coach Connie Price-Smith will be the women's head coach for Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, USATF announced Wednesday.

A four-time Olympian and 25-time national champion in the shot put and discus, Price-Smith has a distinguished career as both a competitor and coach at the world level. She was a member of 34 international U.S. squads as an athlete, and served as an assistant coach at the 2008 Olympic Games, as well as the 2004 World Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica. She was also an assistant at the 2005 World Indoor Championship in Budapest, Hungary and with the U.S. 2006 World Cup Team in Athens, Greece.

"To be named head coach is an extremely gratifying honor," Price-Smith said. "I look forward to getting our team ready to compete, and sharing my knowledge and experiences with our athletes."

The Team USA staff includes women's assistant coaches Bonnie Edmonson, Robyne Johnson, Rose Monday and LaTanya Sheffield.

Price-Smith recently completed her 14th season as head coach at her alma mater. After spending her first three years as the head women's coach, Price-Smith took over the combined men's and women's program in 2004-05 and has since kept SIU track and field among the top programs in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Under Price-Smith, a 1990 Saluki Hall of Fame inductee, SIU's women's team has won five conference titles and finished a program-best ninth in the nation at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships -- the third-best finish of either gender in SIU history. The SIU men's team recently ended a 23-year drought with their first conference title since 1992. A five-time MVC Coach of the Year, Price-Smith has coached SIU athletes to a combined 184 MVC individual titles, 51 All-American honors and eight individual NCAA champions during her time as both the head women's coach and at the helm of the combined program. Southern Illinois had two national champions at the 2015 NCAA Outdoor meet in June -- Raven Saunders (shot put) and DeAnna Price (hammer throw).

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