Simidele Adeife Omonla Adeagbo has become the first African to win an international Sled race at the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) Women’s Monobob World Series .
In the final at Winterberg, a winter resort town in Germany, Simidele beat her rivals to emerge winner in her event.
The 40-year-old recorded a time of 2:01 to emerge champion ahead of Romania’s Popescu Georgeta and Ukraine’s Hunko Lidiia.
According to Simidele Adeife Omonla Adeagbo on her Twitter page:
“Few make history. Fewer change it. Before Jan. 14th, no African athlete had ever reached the top of the podium. That all changed when I won the Europe Cup monobob race in Winterberg & became the 1st Nigerian and African athlete to take home the gold in an @IBSFsliding race.
W/ PBs, I raced for an unprecedented feat & earned a decisive victory. In a Eurocentric, male dominated sport, some didn’t expect to see an African woman atop the podium. There wasn’t even a Nigerian flag & anthem on hand for the awards ceremony (luckily I had my own flag).
No matter how unexpected, my dream became a reality. This 1st is forever. Achieved from will & countless sacrifices, I’m paving a pathway to hope. May we continue to leap past the barriers, expect more than others think is possible & dream more than others think is practical.
I’m using my voice as a change maker on the frontlines of a movement to represent a wider spectrum of humanity at the Winter Olympics. Diversity at the Winter Olympics is critical to a thriving Olympic movement and should be embraced and celebrated.
I hope my win in Winterberg changes the game, transforms the narrative and creates more access for athletes to compete, regardless of race, gender, geographic barriers and economic status.
My win in Winterberg was one phenomenal moment in time. But it’s not just about this moment. It’s about all the moments that preceded it and the moments that are still yet to come. The more visible I am, the more we can transform the narrative for African women in winter sport.“
Simidele Adeife Omonla Adeagbo made history in 2018 when she took part in the Skeleton competition at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, becoming not only the first Nigerian to compete at the Winter Olympics but also the first African to compete in that event.
Ghana’s Akwasi Frimpong was the first African to win a skeleton race, but at a regional event in the USA in 2020.