New Brighton native competing on Nigerian Olympic bobsled team

courtesy of Uzoma Omeoga • New Brighton natives Akuoma and Uzoma Omeoga. Akuoma is competing with the Nigerian bobsled team in the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Feb. 20 and 21, as can be see on NBC.

Bound for the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Nigerian bobsled team member Akuoma Omeoga was born and raised in New Brighton. 

Akuoma, and her sister Uzoma, a manager at the New Brighton community center, attended Sunnyside Elementary, Edgewood Middle School and Irondale High School. 

Akuoma and Uzoma were born in Minnesota after their parents emigrated from Nigeria, hence Akuoma competing for Nigeria.

“She’s my best friend,” Uzoma said of her sister while recounting the struggle, physically and emotionally, Akuoma went through to make it to the Olympics.  

Uzoma said she and her family are very proud of Akuoma’s achievement. “Whenever I really sit and think about it, my sister is achieving something some people think is impossible.”

Akuoma became interested in bobsledding when she moved to Texas. It wasn’t the snowy climate, obviously, but the need for something to do in a new town. 

“When she first told us, we were like, cool,” said Uzoma of the collective shrug the family had when hearing news of Akuoma’s new interest. If anything, they were happy she found something to do that she likes to make her more comfortable in her new surroundings. 

As Akuoma began investing more time, energy and money into bobsledding, she got better, and the Olympics became more of a goal than impossibility. When Akuoma made the team, she texted her family, who reacted with as much relief as joy. 

Uzoma said she and her sister were raised in a Nigerian household, so Akuoma decided to dedicate her new-found skill, the time and effort she put into training and ultimately competing on the sporting world’s grandest stage, to her Nigerian roots. 

Her Nigerian-American family and friends are very proud to be Americans, said Uzoma, but are also very appreciative of Akuoma’s nod to their homeland. 

Akuoma and the Nigerian bobsled team will compete on Feb. 20 and 21 and be seen on NBC. Uzoma and her family will make the trip to Pyeongchang to watch the race in person. 


— Solomon Gustavo

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here