Nigerian bobsled pilot, Seun Adigun, has officially been recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the first African — in the male and female categories — to compete at the winter and summer Olympic Games.
After representing Nigeria in the hurdles event of the Lonfon 2012 Summer Olympics, Adigun then led two other team members – Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere – of the country’s bobsled team to a first-ever participation at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
In a message, IOC’s Ayako Ito noted that the Olympic Study Centre has confirmed that Adigun is the first ever African athlete to compete in both Olympic Games.
The 31-year-old former African 100m hurdles champion is one of only two athletes at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics so recognised, the other being Pita Taufatofua of Tonga, a taekwondo athlete turned skier. Both of them join a list of elite Summer and Winter Olympians catalogued by online reference site, Wikipedia.
“This is a real life example of what it means to represent African excellence and a true testament to the fact that impossibility is nothing. This milestone is truly a blessing,” Adigun stated.
Adigun, who has a doctorate degree in Chiropractic, said her feat was driven by her desire to provide quality representation for Africa and to create a legacy that would inspire generations to come.
She added, “My preparations (for the 2012 Olympics) were driven by the desire to prove to myself that I was capable of competing with the best in the world in the women’s 100m hurdles. I wanted to look back on my career as a hurdler and know that despite any limitations or health obstacles, I genuinely gave all that I had.
“The preparations for the (2018) winter Games was different in the sense that my passion was driven by my selfless intentions to create positive representation for Nigerians and Africans globally. That passion was accompanied by several thoughts of fear and anxiety, but it was overcome by God’s grace and the support of everyone who played a part in the journey, no matter how big or small.”
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