Simidele Adeagbo becomes the very first African (woman) to take part in the skeleton category of the Winter Olympics. The 38 year old athlete and former track star is set to make history for Nigeria as she will be representing her country in Pyeongchang, South Korea between 15th and 17th of February, 2018.
Skeleton is a winter sport featured in the Winter Olympics where the competitor rides head-first and prone (lying face down) on a flat skeleton sled down a frozen track at high speed. It is normally run on an ice track that allows the sled to gain speed by gravity.
Simidele who is a retired track and field athlete is a four-time National Collegiate Athletic Association All-American and triple jump school record holder for University of Kentucky. She completed five races on three different tracks before she got qualified to compete. Adeagbo would be joining the three historic Nigerian women Bobsledders: Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga who recently became the first athletes from Africa to qualify for Olympics in the sport.
“When I retired from track and field, I didn’t expect that I would have a second chance at the Olympics — and I would have never thought that I’d be a winter Olympian. But when I saw the article about the bobsled ladies, it wasn’t so much my personal Olympic dreams that grabbed me, it was more of the meaningful nature of what they were trying to accomplish that really inspired me. Ultimately, for me, this is about breaking barriers in winter sports. It’s about making history. And leaving a legacy. It’s about moving sport forward. That’s so much bigger than just me being an Olympian.” Simidele said.
“I want to be an example and inspire others by showing them what’s possible. I want to change the conversation and the narrative on African women and believe it’s time for the world to see strong, smart, vivacious, courageous, beautiful and ambitious African women unapologetically blazing a trail in sports,” she added.
Way to go girl!