Health Care

Nigeria's bobsled women first to qualify for Winter Olympics

Nigeria's bobsled women first to qualify for Winter Olympics

This week, the Nigerian women's bobsled team made history by qualifying for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea taking place in February. They will try to unseat Canada, who have won the last two gold medals in women's bobsledding, though the country's winning team of Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse will not compete together this year.

Despite numerous success stories in the summer Games - notably gold in the men's football at Atlanta 1996 - no Nigerian has ever competed in a Winter Olympic event before.

Their journey to PyeongChang actually began in Houston, with a wooden sled they dubbed "The Maeflower".

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Via GoFundMe, they raised their $75,000 target and attracted interest from global brands, with Under Armour and Visa coming sponsoring them. This will be the first time the African nation will be represented in the sport at the Winter Olympics.

"I have watched them train and work hard to represent Nigeria at the Winter Olympics in a very technical and high risk sport and they have achieved that".

The trio are also the Nigeria's first ever representative's at the games.

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It's fitting that the American athletes most likely to violate gravity in Pyeongchang this winter will be doing so while dressed up as astronauts, but you don't have to be a quad-corking Olympic shredder to get in on the action.

Reaction to their qualification in Nigeria was largely one of surprise, with many people unaware the football-mad country even had a bobsled team.

The team, consisting of Devon Harris, Dudley Stokes, Michael White, Freddy Powell and Chris Stokes, became very popular not only because of their provenance, but also because of their lack of experience going down a bobsled track. Bobsledders from around the world gave them guidance and support.

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