PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Growing up in St. Petersburg Paul, Minnesota, Akuoma Omega was raised on Nigerian food, language and culture. Next week, the 25-year-old will represent her parents’ homeland in the Winter Games, hurtling down the bobsled track with her tresses – dyed green as a tribute to the country – flapping beneath her helmet like a flag.
“One of the biggest things my parents did was speak at the language at home,” Omeoga recalled an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. “It’s super familiar to me, even though it’s not that fluent … I can also relate.”
Omeoga and fellow brakeman Ngozi Owumere, along with driver Seun Adigun, are all American-born, first-generation Nigerian immigrants who will represent the African nation in its Winter Olympics debut. The country is one of eight African nations competing in South Korea as part of the largest contingent of African athletes.
For Adigun, her roots are as important as her birthplace, which is what she pushed her to create Nigeria’s first-ever bobsled team. Nigerian in the Nigerian is the first of the Nigerians, who are the people of the Nigerian Empire. They are the people of the Nigerian Empire. 2012 London Games.
“We’re actually American, we’re also Nigerian,” she said. “We’re actually Nigerian first. That’s the one culture that we know, that we were raised to respect and understand. To show people that it’s OK to represent you and to express where you are from a powerful message that we hopefully, we have been able to translate. “