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Nigerian Adeagbo Makes History as First African to Compete in Bobsleigh at IBSF World Championships

By Grace Chigbu


In a remarkable feat of sporting achievement, Nigerian-born Simidele Adeagbo has etched her name in history as the first African athlete to compete in bobsleigh at the IBSF World Championships. Adeagbo’s groundbreaking moment came during her debut appearance at the prestigious event held in Germany.


Representing Nigeria since 2017, Adeagbo showcased her prowess on the Winterberg track, emerging among the top 20 in Women’s Monobob with a record-breaking time of 59.52 seconds, setting a new African benchmark in the sport.


Expressing her gratitude and reflecting on the significance of her achievement, Adeagbo emphasized the importance of recognizing and celebrating historic contributions, particularly during Black History Month. She underscored the power of perseverance and determination in breaking barriers and paving the way for future generations.


The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) World Championships serve as a pinnacle in the world of winter sports, drawing athletes from diverse backgrounds to compete in bobsleigh and skeleton disciplines. For Adeagbo, participation in the championship represents a crucial step towards securing a spot at the Winter Olympics later in the year, where she aims to clinch a medal.


Adeagbo’s journey into sliding sports began after transitioning from a successful career in track and field, driven by a desire to address gender disparities and promote African representation in winter sports. Her historic achievement is viewed as a catalyst for greater inclusivity within the traditionally Eurocentric and male-dominated sport of bobsleigh.


Looking ahead, Adeagbo remains focused on her ultimate goal of winning Africa’s first medal at the Winter Olympics. Inspired by the trailblazing legacy of athletes like Venus and Serena Williams, Adeagbo draws strength from their resilience and determination in overcoming obstacles.


Notably, Adeagbo’s contributions extend beyond the realm of competition, as evidenced by her establishment of the SimiSleighs Foundation—a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for women and girls in sports. Through her foundation, Adeagbo continues to dismantle barriers and empower women to reach their full potential.


As Adeagbo celebrates her historic achievement, fellow Nigerians in bobsleigh, including Nafeesat Aliu, Sekinat Alawode, Mujeeb Adewuyi, and Abdulquddus Aliu, set their sights on future successes on the international stage. With their determination and resilience, they are poised to leave an indelible mark on the world of winter sports.



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