ADIGUN Seun < Back  
Sport Athletics, Bobsleigh
CGA Nigeria   
Gender Women
Born 03 Jan 1987 in Chicago, IL, USA
Height1.65 m
Weight 68 kg
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Residence Houston, TX, USA
Occupation Athlete, Student
Languages English, Spanish
Higher education Exercise Science - University of Houston: United States
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? She took up bobsleigh in 2015 with some of her friends from athletics.
Why this sport? A 2012 Olympic hurdler, she became interested in bobsleigh after watching the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. She joined the US national setup, and competed for the US at the World Cup event in Park City, UT, United States of America in 2016. Later in 2016 she reached out to the Nigerian Olympic Committee who were interested in being represented in bobsleigh. She was released from Team USA and set about forming a Nigerian bobsleigh team. "I kind of had Olympic fever again and I knew quite a few track and field athletes who had transitioned into the winter sports, so I figured, 'You know, I think I could try this.'
Club / Team University of Houston [Cougars]: Houston, TX, USA
Name of coach Niki Istrate [national], ROU
Coach from which country? United States
Preferred position / style / stance / technique Pilot
General Interest
Hobbies Baking, dancing, singing, puzzles, writing. (teamusa.org, 02 May 2016; Athlete, 06 Feb 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement Qualifying for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. (Athlete, 06 Feb 2018)
Most influential person in career Her parents. (Athlete, 06 Feb 2018)
Hero / Idol US athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, US basketball player LeBron James. (Athlete, 06 Feb 2018)
Injuries When she joined the University of Houston she had a heart condition called tachycardia [beating too fast]. She had initial surgery at age 13 but the problem returned, so she opted for another round of surgery to remove excess tissue around her heart in 2008, which was successful. Doctors say that her condition has a 5% chance of returning. "I didn't even realise how much my condition affected my ability to work out and do well." (chron.com, 14 May 2009)
Sporting philosophy / motto "Strong faith, hard work, dedication, and support are some of the necessary ingredients to the meal called 'Success'." (Facebook page, 19 Nov 2017)
Other sports She competed in the 100m hurdles at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. (iaaf.org, 06 Aug 2012; teamusa.org, 02 May 2016)
Famous relatives She is the niece of former American basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon. (uhcougars.com, 01 Oct 2009)
Ambitions To win a medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, and to help grow women's bobsleigh. (bbc.co.uk, 07 Dec 2017; Athlete, 06 Feb 2018)
Other information NATIONAL FIRSTS
Along with skeleton athlete Simidele Adeagbo, the Nigerian bobsleigh team are part of the first ever delegation of Nigerian athletes to compete at an Olympic Winter Games. The Nigerian bobsleigh team will also be the first bobsleigh athletes from any African nation to compete at a winter Games. (independent.co.uk, 18 Nov 2017; thenationonlineng.net, 30 Jul 2017; sheleadsafrica.org, 22 Nov 2017)

REPRESENTING NIGERIA
She initially represented the United States of America, before switching to represent Nigeria in 2016 due to her family's heritage. She managed to raise USD$75,000 in 11 months to help fund the team, who trained with a makeshift sled she put together from wood and scraps that she named 'The Mayflower'. "After realising that my participation as a brakeman on the United States women's bobsled team had grown to be far larger than me, I knew this was something I had to do. I noticed my ability to potentially empower and positively influence millions of people resided in my decision to give back to the country of Nigeria." (theguardian.com, 18 Nov 2017; ibsf.org, 15 Jan 2016; independent.co.uk, 18 Nov 2017; cbsnews.com, 17 Dec 2016; sheleadsafrica.org, 12 Feb 2017; thenationonlineng.net, 30 Jul 2017)

COOL RUNNINGS COMPARISONS
Comparisons have been drawn between the story of her Nigerian bobsleigh team and the 1993 US comedy movie Cool Runnings, which is based on the Jamaican bobsleigh team at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary. "I watched it three or four times when I was a kid. But honestly, coming up with this team had very little to do with the actual movie and everything to do with the legacy it created. I won't lie though, I definitely thought about driving with a 'lucky egg.'" (buzzfeed.com, 09 Dec 2016)

EDUCATION
She is studying a dual degree at Texas Chiropractic College alongside a master's of science in exercise health from the University of Houston. "After bobsled, I will be a doctor or chiropractic practising amongst the elite and professional athletes. I will continue in sports but will focus on injury prevention, rehabilitation, exercise physiology, and biomechanics." (meyerdc.com, 02 Nov 2017; sheleadsafrica.org, 12 Feb 2017)