Members of the first African bobsled team to compete in the Winter Olympics were enthusiastically welcomed home to Houston, Texas Wednesday evening, saying they were surprised at how they inspired fans in the U.S. and in their parents’ homeland of Nigeria.
“I don’t think I really aspire necessarily to break barriers, but more so just to encourage others to aspire for greatness, to never be limited by the fear of the unknown,” Seun Adigun, the bobsled driver, told supporters Wednesday evening at the University of Houston Alumni Center. She had previous Olympic experience having run in the 100-meter hurdles for Nigeria at the 2012 London Olympics.
But nothing quite prepared Adigun for the groundbreaking experience of being a bobsledder.
As an assistant coach at University of Houston, Adigun, 31, met Ngozi Onwumere, 26, a sprinter and long jumper at the university. The two, along with Akuoma Omeoga, 25, a former University of Minnesota sprinter, decided to train as bobsledders for the opportunity of representing Nigeria in the Winter Olympic Games earlier this year in South Korea. All of their parents had emigrated from Nigeria.