The Nigerian Women's Bobsled Team Are The Superheroes We Need Right Now

The three US-based women are raising funds to get together the equipment and training they need to be the first African bobsled team to compete in the Winter Olympics.

The 2018 Winter Olympics are about to get a hell of a lot cooler, thanks to the hopeful addition of a women's bobsled team representing Nigeria.

Obi Grant

Driver Seun Adigun and brakewomen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga aren't particularly well-versed yet in the noble sport of bobsledding.

But they're hella determined to make it to the competition in PyeongChang, South Korea.

And before you ask, yes, they are aware of the many, many Cool Runnings references that are sure to be made during the run-up to the Olympics.

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"I watched it 3 or 4 times when I was a kid," Adigun told BuzzFeed News when asked if the movie inspired the team to make the leap from track and field to bobsledding, like the Jamaican team immortalized in the classic Disney film.

"But honestly, coming up with this team had very little to do with the actual movie and everything to do with the legacy it created." she said. "I won't lie though, I definitely thought about driving with a 'lucky egg.'"

All three of the women are runners based in the US and are clearly ready to bring some swagger to the Winter Games.

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Adigun, who first had the idea to start the team, was born outside of Chicago and has represented Nigeria in international competition since 2009, winning gold at the All-Africa Games and Africa Championships, and even racing in the 2012 Olympics.

She met Dallas-born Onwumere at the University of Houston back in 2009, when Onwumere was joining the track and field team and Adigun was an assistant coach. Omeoga was the final piece to the puzzle, joining up with the others when she moved to Houston this summer.

Adigun says that the team is getting moral support from the Nigerian Olympic Committee, if not funds.

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"The first Vice President, Chief Solomon Ogba, has played a very important role in helping us get set up and acquiring the full support of the remaining NOC executive members," she told BuzzFeed News. "We are actually very blessed at Nigeria's initiative as a unit in supporting something that has never been done before."

With that in mind, the team has set up a GoFundMe to raise $150,000 needed to equip the team and allow for the training needed to become Olympians in a new sport for all of them.

"From the beginning we realized that we could not take on this journey without the support of others," Omeoga, a former track and field star with the University of Minnesota, said. "Crowdfunding is not only a good way to raise money, but most importantly to create awareness about the sport."

The women aren't waiting around for the money to roll in though. They've got a lot of work to do in order to be ready to compete and so they've already started their training.

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"Making it to the Olympic Games will be a very pivotal moment in not only the history of Nigeria and African, but also in the sport of bobsled," Adigun wrote. "Everyone is aware of how special this situation is, and we are all in agreement that the foundations of this team need to be solid."

Adigun, currently training in Utah to get a handle on being in the driver's seat, also says she isn't worried about the clock.

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That's because there's not just one race that gets a team into the Olympics, but a number of them that can earn points towards an overall ranking. That, plus finishing races, gives drivers the chance to qualify, bringing the rest of the team along with them.

"There are still races left this season and several next season leading up to the actual Olympic Games," Adigun said. "I will be able to utilize many of these opportunities to qualify, so my timeline to South Korea is still very realistic. "

"This goes far beyond South Korea — this team is being designed to empower more Nigerian and African teams to increase their involvement in the sport of bobsled," Adigun said. "No matter how the cookie crumbles, it will be a win-win for everyone."

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