Shell Energy Entrepreneurs banner Yudala banner
Simidele set to make history for Nigeria at the Winter Olympics

By News Express on 11/01/2018

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 240

•Simidele Adeagbo: History beckons
•Simidele Adeagbo: History beckons

Nigerian athlete, Simidele Adeagbo is just one race away from qualifying for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the sport of skeleton. If she is successful, she will make Olympic history as a member of the first Nigerian contingent to one of the world’s most prestigious competitive sporting events. The skeleton is a winter sliding sport in which a person rides a small sled, known as a skeleton bobsled or sleigh, down a frozen track while lying face down.

Adeagbo, a four-time NCAA All American and triple jump record holder for the University of Kentucky, competed in her last major track and field competition in June 2008. She had nursed the ambition of competing at the Olympics but was unsuccessful at the trials and thus hung up her boots.

The 36-year-old Nigerian athlete however revived her ambition to compete at the Olympics about 10 years later. Her journey to a possible participation at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea commenced in December 2016, when she first heard of the Nigerian women’s bobsled team.

She said: “I read an article about how the women had this audacious goal of becoming Africa’s first-ever bobsled team to go to the Winter Olympics. I was super inspired, and instantly thought, I wonder if I could be a part of that? So, when I saw that, I was thinking, maybe they need a fourth person and maybe that fourth person could be me because there's a history of track and field athletes going into bobsled.”

Adeagbo sent a message to the bobsled team inquiring if she could be a fourth member. The team had just three women and from what she knew bobsled is a four-person sport. The women however replied, informing her that bobsled is a four-person sport for men, but a two-person sport for women. They informed her their team was complete.

Several months later, there was a potential window of opportunity for participation at the winter Olympics. In July 2017, Adeagbo saw an Instagram post announcing trials by the Nigerian Bobsled and Skeleton Federation in Houston, Texas. She then travelled to Houston, arriving in the morning of tryouts and competed in the trials that evening.

A couple weeks later she got a call from the Federation inviting her to come to a camp in Canada to see if she could live up to the potential she showed at the trials. Despite not knowing much about the sports, Adeagbo did so well at those tryouts, leveraging on everything she already mastered back in her track and field days: speed (with a 45-metre sprint), power (through a shot-put throw) and explosiveness (via a standing long jump). The first time she ever touched a skeleton sled was on September 12, 2017.

According to her: “I honestly didn't know much about the sport, but knew that there was a lot that I could draw from my track and field background to help me succeed in it. You run as fast as you can for about 30 metres to gain momentum before you launch into or onto something. I was able to pick up the push start very, very quickly because I already had that experience with the runway of triple jump. Where I really have the advantage is only for a very short amount of time, four or five seconds of the race. But the track is a mile long, so the race will last another 50 seconds.”

The winter Olympic hopeful, who is training without the help of a trainer or coach, spends a lot of time in the gym. One thing Adeagbo quickly realised she would need expert help with was footwear. “Footwear is a really, really important component of the sport, because in skeleton you use your feet to steer the sled,” she said. She contacted Tobie Hatfield, a senior director of athlete innovation at Nike, to ask about her options. Hatifeld, who had designed skeleton spikes for Nike athletes in the past, said that he would like to design a shoe for her.

“We had to focus on keeping the athlete warm and dry in very cold and wet conditions. The biggest attribute of the Nike Zoom Slider is to make it very aerodynamic. With speeds around 80 mph, it is imperative that we give the shoes a nice slip-stream through the air. That is why we cover up the laces with a faring and make the heel as round as possible as that is the leading edge down the hill as she slides,” Hatfield explained.

He added: “Simi represents what the power of sport can do to move the world forward, and for me, one of the best parts of her journey is getting the opportunity to create and innovate for not only an employee, but a friend. Most of everything is cut, stitched, pressed and injected at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. We make shoes top-to-bottom for athletes all the time.”

Hatfield is still working on the final version of the spikes that Adeagbo will wear if she makes it to South Korea.

Reflecting on what could turn out to be a potentially defining moment in the annals of Winter Olympics for African female athletes, Adeagbo stated: “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.”

Adeagbo is currently ranked 84th in the world. In order to qualify in skeleton for PyeongChang, an athlete has to be the top athlete in the sport from their country and to have competed in five races on three different tracks in the last two seasons.

She will compete in her final qualifying race on Thursday in Lake Placid, New York. Qualifiers will be announced from January 14 to 16. If she gets it, she will join the three Nigerian women bobsledders who recently became the first athletes from Africa to qualify for the Olympics in the sport, and Nigeria will have its first and biggest-ever Winter Olympics representation in PyeongChang, South Korea.

 

Source News Express

Posted 11/01/2018 02:52:22 AM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

 

You may also like...
Man without a country to compete in London...

Red-hot Ighalo strikes down Liverpool in Premiership thriller...

Akeredolu bans logging in Ondo State

Global leaders converge on Lagos to discuss effects...

Strong growth for Nigeria telecoms industry underway, says...

Obaseki commissions first Nigerian Pavilion at Venice Art...

CBN set to clear backlog of forex demands...

Mother of 4 wins mountain climbing competition in...

Ifeanyi Ubah is a man of quality ideas:...

Deadly downpour: Farmers send SOS to Gov. Obi,...

3 die during church deliverance service in Delta...

BREAKING: Governor’s son arrested over death of student...

 

Latest News Igbo youths ban killer herdsmen in South East Stay away from disputed Effurun land, Reps tell Army Messi misses penalty as Barcelona suffer first defeat of the season •Atletico Madrid crumble at home Niger Delta Avengers set to resume attacks •Vow to be ‘brutish, brutal, bloody’ Access Bank approves paternity leave for male employees Alheri denies owing FG N27.2b over fibre optic agreement Oshimili North suspends NURTW activities, stops revenue collectors Buhari to lead Nigerian delegation to AU summit NAF pilots bomb Boko Haram vehicle workshop in Sambisa FG aims to raise N110b at bond auction NiMet predicts dust haze, cloudy weather, reduced visibility 12 killed, 48 wounded in Maiduguri suicide bomb attack

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (314,678 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (303,859 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (243,983 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (201,019 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (189,735 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (178,979 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (155,266 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (139,243 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (135,873 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (124,212 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (121,367 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (118,746 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (33) Business (2,852) Business Verdict (32) Columnists (790) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (200) Entertainment (431) Features (541) Global Business Monitor (222) International (1,743) Interviews (139) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (100) News (31,959) Opinion (864) Pidgin (10) Politics (4,351) Religion (666) Sports (1,406) Stock Watch (25) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN Banner advert

CBN Words on marble

 

 

Thierry Henry in Lagos Nigeria

 

APO Group Partner

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement



 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!