Sponsored Post: The Importance of the Nigerian Bobsleigh Team

Three women made history at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Click here to find out why they are significant and how it will affect the future. ...

Three women made history at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Click here to find out why they are significant and how it will affect the future.

In the 2018 Winter Olympics, history was made. Nigeria forwarded a bobsleigh team, making them the first African nation to ever do so. What does this mean for the sport and for Nigeria? Let’s take a look.
One thing we are likely to see as a result of the impact of the Nigerian bobsleigh team is an interest in the sport and others like it from the wider public. You can currently engage in many types of sport betting in Nigeria, with the most popular often being football. However, if there is an increase in interest in winter sports in Nigeria, we can expect people to begin to engage with them in a variety of ways. From trying them out themselves to placing bets on who will win in the big tournaments and maybe even the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The women who took part in the event, Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere, were first inspired by watching other black athletes take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics. The record breakers like Simone Biles inspired them to stand tall and try their hand at a sport which no African nation had competed in before. Though they were American-Nigerian, they decided to represent under the Nigerian flag. This enabled them to represent the whole of Africa and not just the one nation, as would have been the case if they tried to join the USA team.
Even as they were inspired, they themselves were turning into inspirations. Their press interest from media outlets all around the world also inspired Simidele Adeagbo. She joined them as the first skeleton racer to represent the country and we can already see the impact and the legacy of these women, even now just a year after the games.
Thanks to these women, it is likely that we will see a big uptake of winter sports in Nigeria and other African countries. They have proven that there is a precedence for them competing and an interest in the sport. What’s more, their progress is receiving international interest and it is likely to help them attract more sponsorship as they continue.
While the team came last in the competition, they also got a personal best meaning that they could achieve better with more support. Talent – which the team definitely has – will only get them so far. They need support from a team of experts like others have access to. When they entered, the Nigerian government gave them no funding or support so thanks to the influence and attention they have, we might find that they start to look at funding for more winter sports.

There is no doubt about it, these three women who made up the first Nigerian bobsleigh team, together with their teammate in the skeleton race, are part of an important step in African sports. Adigun, Omeoga, Onwumere, and Adeagbo have gone down in history as great sporting women. We can’t wait to see what their legacy will be.

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