Simidele Adeagbo Makes History at the 2018 Winter Olympics
Simidele Adeagbo completed her historic Olympic journey on Saturday as the first Nigerian, African and Black female to compete in the Skeleton at the Winter Olympics. Adeagbo had the 4th fastest start time overall with 5.06 and a best down time of 53.73 seconds. She finished her Olympic run with a combined time of 3:36.78. (Official results are posted here).
“Competing in the Olympics has been one of the most inspiring and proudest moments of my life,” said Simidele Adeagbo. “It was a dream that started a long time ago and to be able fulfill that dream for myself, for Nigeria, and for future Olympians was so much more than I could have asked for.”
Adeagbo was also the first Nigerian athlete (male or female) to compete in the Winter Olympics and hopes that her accomplishments go beyond individual accomplishments and her new sport. “Ultimately, for me, this is about breaking barriers in sports,” she says. “It’s about making history and leaving a legacy.”
Adeagbo continued, “It’s about moving sport forward. That’s so much bigger than just me being an Olympian. This will open doors and unlock the potential of future generations of athletes.”
Simidele Adeagbo represents a new generation of African leaders with a responsibility to shatter ceilings, open doors and pave the way for future generations. She’s been a lifelong athlete and dominant force, gracefully leaping her way into record books and now blazing trails in winter sports. While competing at the University of Kentucky, she was a four time All-American and school record holder in the triple jump. She was consistently nationally ranked and was a two-time U.S. Olympic Trials finalists in the triple jump, narrowly missing a spot on the 2008 Olympic Team. She’s made the successful transition from sand to ice as Nigeria's first female Skeleton athlete. Skeleton is a single rider winter sport in which an athlete rides a skeleton sled down a frozen track at high speeds while lying face down. When she’s not sliding down ice tracks, she’s a creative force, visionary, business leader, world traveler and Africa Aficionado. As the first Black & African female Skeleton Olympian, she wants to be an example and inspire others by showing them what’s possible. She wants to change the conversation and the narrative on women and believe it’s time for the world to see strong, smart, vivacious, courageous, beautiful and ambitious women unapologetically blazing a trail in sports.
For over a decade, while pursuing her athletic endeavors, Simidele has also led a successful and notable career at Nike Inc., where she is currently a Marketing Manager in Johannesburg, South Africa. She has extensive experience managing a diverse range of businesses and a strong track record leadership. Her professional obligations require 40-50 hour work weeks and occasional business travel. Despite these professional obligations, Simidele remains fully determined and committed to her personal goals, always finding the time, energy and motivation to train.