PYEONGCHANG (Xinhua) --
Africa’s first female skeleton
racer, Simidele Adeagbo, made her Olympic Winter Games
debut on Friday, four months after trying the sport for
the first time.
has been fast-tracked,” the 36-year-old said.
think that a lot of people have qualified for the
Olympics in four months, trying to learn a sport that it
really takes years and years to learn. So my learning
has been on a public platform, trying to do it in front
of media, my peers, everyone.
“But if I
can go down an iced track at 80 miles per hour (128
km/h) there is nothing in this world that I can’t do.”
Africa-based marketing manager had read about the
Nigeria bobsleigh team and had been invited for a
training camp in September last year. There she
discovered skeleton and decided to try to make the team
for Nigeria’s first participation in an Olympic Winter
“This was an
opportunity to make history for my country. The fact
that no woman from Africa had been to the Olympic Games
in the sport of skeleton, to me it was a barrier that
needed to be broken and I felt that I was the person
that can do it.
to inspire future generations of people to do the
after quitting athletics, Adeagbo started with skeleton
in October and qualified for the PyeongChang 2018
Olympic Winter Games with a third place in the North
American Cup at Lake Placid near New York on 11 January.
time was scary. I describe it as violent and turbulent.
But as I’ve got better it’s more and more fun. I’m
enjoying the sport now and I’m learning to control the
sled a lot better than that first day some months ago.
“I feel that
I can apply a lot of my skills, speed, power and
explosiveness that I have from being a track and field
finished 20th and last after the first two
heats, happy about her push starts but still seeing lots
of room for improvements in Saturday night’s runs.
important thing is how I’m navigating down the track. I
missed some of the timings of my steers, which made me
lose some time and hit some walls, but for me, I’m still
learning the sport and it’s all part of the process.
“I did have
a personal best and I’m happy with that.”