They are a determined band of “first-ever” athletes competing in the Winter Olympics in South Korea this month. Nigeria’s first Olympic bobsled athletes. The first bobsledders from anywhere on the African continent to make it to the Olympics. And the first-ever Nigerians even to compete in the Winter Games.
To celebrate and promote the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team, which it will outfit during competition, Under Armour has produced “Ice Blazers,” a series of short films featuring women athletes Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere. The American-born daughters of Nigerian immigrants started as track and field athletes and switched sports to make their Olympic bid.
The five videos follow the women as they qualify in Calgary, train on dry land and on ice, race in Lake Placid and otherwise prepare for the games in Pyeongchang.
“Africa and snow, that’s jokes,” said Adigun at the beginning of the first film, discussing how they sought to be taken seriously. “This is not a game. We’re actually out for something very special… We’re serious and we want your respect.”
Adigun, who competed for Nigeria in track and field in the 2012 Games, wanted to do something never done before, the Baltimore-based sports brand sponsor said. She formed the team with fellow Nigerian track and field athletes Omeoga and Onwumere with a goal of competing this year.
Under Armour designed the team’s speed suits, warmup suits, sneakers and parka.
“Despite a lack of funding, no previous sled experience and facing what could be a series of unsurmountable challenges, the chance to make history for not only their country, but an entire continent, was one these inspirational women couldn’t pass up,” Under Armour said in announcing the Ice Blazers documentary, produced by Under Armour Originals. “Some chances only come around once in a lifetime; this is the story of their journey.”
Opening ceremonies are Feb. 9.