The three triumphant members of the Nigerian Bobsled team christened ‘Ice Blazers’ have dedicated their inspiring achievement as the first African team ever to participate in the sport of Bobsled to all Nigerians.
Team pilot, Seun Adigun ably assisted by brakemen, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga rode their sled down the tricky ice tracks to the finish line into history on Wednesday at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Alberta.
It was the completion of the fifth of their required five qualifying races paving the way for the first attempt by an African country to contest for a Bobsled medal. The 2018 Winter Olympics international multi-sport event is scheduled to take place from February 9 to 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang County, South Korea.
Speaking after her amazing feat, Seun Adigun, captured the huge moment describing it as a worthy honour for country and continent. She said, “It is a true honour to not only put Nigeria on an elevated platform, but to also represent the continent of Africa in a positive light. This is truly a blessing – a feeling like no other. We are inspired by the Nigerian can-do spirit and we hope to carry this positive energy to Pyeongchang and make the country and Africa proud again. This is dedicated to all Nigerians home and abroad.
On her part, Ngozi Onwumere, Brakeman said, “It has been an amazing and rewarding feeling to see hard-work manifest into being an Olympic qualifier. Definitely an experience, I will never forget!”
The third member, Akuoma Omeoga added, “I am definitely feeling ecstatic to sum it all up. I feel overjoyed by how much support has come our way even from this past week alone. I’m glad that we were able to make this footprint in the sand. However, I acknowledge the fact that the work is not finished yet. There is so much more to look forward to in the future.”
As a prequalification requirement for the winter Olympics, participating teams must scale through a rigorous process comprising up to five races before they can make the Olympics. Leading the Nigerian team, Adigun who is a former African 100m hurdles champion and 2012 summer Olympian and the two brakemen participated in races in Utah, Whistler, and Calgary.
With a creative backend from leading pan-African creative talent agency, Lagos-based Temple Management Company (TMC) and the Bobsled Federation of Nigeria (BSF), the Ice Blazers have garnered international attention from media organizations such as CNN, BBC, ESPN and KweseSports. The inspiring pursuit has also attracted keen attention from international organizations such as Toyota, Visa, Belton AG, Lazer and sportswear giant, Underarmour among others.
Echoing Omeoga , Koye Sowemimo, Head of Sports, TMC who has worked closely with the team noted that the journey has indeed just begun. According to him, “Seun, Akuoma & Ngozi can be proud of this achievement as they truly did the impossible. Not only do they have Nigeria behind them, they have Africa and the rest of the world following their journey. Its important to recognise the global sponsors that believed in them as their support gave them all they needed to achieve this feat”.