Granted, we don’t have winter in Nigeria, but there’s no denying we’ll be the envy of other country at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang, South Korea. Our bobsled team, which is the first out of Africa, is already taking media attention.

And right now it seems we have another bit of history waiting to be made as Simidele Adeagbo is one race away from becoming the first woman skeleton athlete from Africa to take part in the competition.

(Photo: Simidele Adeagbo)

Adeagbo is a retired track and field athlete, having held the National Collegiate Athletic Association All-American and triple jump school record for four times. Her interest in skeleton was sparked six months ago when she heard about the amazing Nigerian bobsled team. Determined to shatter the glass ceiling in athletics, she went for a trial in August and was successful.

Because there are no ice tracks in Johannesburg where she lives, Adeagbo prepares by watching videos of past runs and also using tips and tricks compiled by other athletes. When she can, she travels to Canada where she trains on ice tracks that run as far as 1.5km long.

But with these preparations, there can be changes in the weather which make skeleton quite unpredictable. The 36-year-old, who is in love with Davido’s Fia’ because it reminds her that what she’s doing is “for the continent and for the people back home”, isn’t disturbed by this.

Although she injured her chin in her last competition, there’s no stopping her from the fifth race in Lake Placid, New York, which will see her achieve that dream of qualifying for the Winter Olympics on January 11, 2018.

culled from

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