Nigeria’s women’s bobsleigh and skeleton team members Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, Akuoma Omeoga and Simidele Adeagbo attend a welcoming ceremony for the team in the Olympic Village in Pyeongchang ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 6, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE
Nigerians in diaspora scrambling to join us, says Ogba
Nigeria’s contingent to the just concluded Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea returned to the country Tuesday night with the athletes showering encomium on Nigerians for their love and support. And unless there is a last minute change, President Muhammadu Buhari will on March 7 host the team to a presidential reception in Abuja.
The bobsled trio of Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Owumere, as well as Simidele Adeagbo, who flew Nigeria’s flag in the skeleton event, arrived to a rousing welcome at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos on Tuesday night via a KLM flight.
Team captain, Adigun said she was excited with the love and support showed by Nigerians despite the fact it was their first participation at the Winter Olympics. She stated that with more time, more preparation and funding, Nigeria would compete for medals in the nearest future.
“It is going to open doors and provide opportunities for people who perhaps before didn’t think it was a possibility,” Adigun stated. “You don’t need a bobsleigh track to take part in bobsleigh.”
President of the Bobsled and Skeleton Federation of Nigeria, Chief Solomon Ogba told The Guardian yesterday that the presidency might host the team on March 7 in Abuja. “I just returned from Abuja and tentatively, the Presidency may host the team on March 7.”
Ogba, who is the immediate past president of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), disclosed that many Nigerians in the Diaspora were scrambling to join the Nigerian bobsled and skeleton team ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
“Our participation at the 2018 Winter Olympics has opened the door of blessing for Nigerian sports in many ways,” Ogba said. “Just before our departure from South Korea, one Nigerian, a male bobsled athlete, who resides in Germany, got in torch with me saying that he will like to represent Nigeria in the 2022 Winter Olympics. There are so many Nigerians who have been denied the opportunity of showcasing their talents in the Winter Olympics just because we were not participating in the games before now. In South Korea, we were surprised to see three Nigerians competing for Great Britain. They even won medals in the bobsled and skeleton events for Great Britain. Though, it is an expensive sports, we will do everything possible to build on the achievement we have made so far,” Ogba stated.