The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games is taking place at PyeongChang, South Korea from February 9 to February 25, 2018. The games feature 102 events in fifteen sports disciplines, including the addition of big air snowboarding, mass start speed skating, mixed doubles curling, and mixed team alpine skiing to the Winter Olympic programme. 2,952 athletes from 92 National Olympic Committees are slated to compete, including the debut of Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Singapore.
Africa representation at the PyeongChang 2018 is as followed:
Eritrea (1) - The country is making its debut at the Winter Olympics with one alpine skier, Shannon-Ogbani Abeda. The 21-year-old athlete resides in Canada, the country that embraced his parents who fled the Eritrean War of Independence in the 1980s. Abeda was born in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. He will be competing at the Men's giant slalom and Men's slalom events.
Ghana (1) - Ghana is represented by one athlete competing at the Skeleton event, Akwasi Frimpong. The Netherlands-based athlete is the second Ghanaian to participate in the Winter Olympics. He is also now the first Olympian from West Africa to participate at the Skeleton event as well as the first black Olympian to represent an African country in the sport. This is the Third appearance for Ghana at the Olympics (2010, 2014, and 2018).
Kenya (1) - Kenya has been competing at the summer Olympic Games since 1956. This will be Kenya's fourth participation at the Winter Olympics Games (1998, 2002, 2006, and 2018) with a solo female Alpine skier athlete: Sabrina Simader. The 19-year-old athlete was born in Kenya and moved to Austria in 2001 after her mother married an Austrian. She became the first alpine skier to represent Kenya at the world championships when she competed at the 2017 edition in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Madagascar (1) - The country returns to the Winter Olympics, after its last competing in 2006, which also marked its debut. Madagascar is being represented by one female athlete: Mialitiana Clerc. The 16-year-old athlete moved to France at the age of one after being adopted by French parents alongside her sister. She is competing at the Alpine Skiing event.
Morocco (2) - Morocco is sending two athletes to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics: Adam Lamhamedi (Alpine Skiing) and Samir Azzimani (Cross Country Skiing).
Adam Lamhamedi and his brother Sami, both qualified to compete at the games, however only one can compete. Just like in 2014, Sami will travel as an alternate in case of injury to Adam. The 22-year-old was born to a Moroccan father and a Canadian mother and has dual citizenship in both countries. His father, a university professor, moved to Canada several years before his birth. He became the first alpine skier representing an African nation to win gold at the Winter Youth Olympic Games by claiming victory in super G at the 2012 Games in Innsbruck, Austria.
Samir Azzimani competed for the country at the 2010 Winter Olympics in alpine skiing. This time, he will be competing at the Cross Country skiing event. The 40-year-old athlete switched from alpine skiing to cross-country skiing after the 2012/13 season. He was introduced to the sport at age five on a holiday camp to the French Alps.
Nigeria (3) - This is the debut appearance for Nigeria at the Winter Olympics, sending out three athletes to represent the country, competing at the Bobsleigh and skeleton events. Athletes Seun Adigun and Akuoma Omeoga will represent Nigeria at the two-woman Bobsleigh event. Athlete Simidele Adeagbo will represent Nigeria at the Skeleton event. The Nigerian bobsleigh team will also be the first bobsleigh athletes from any African nation to compete at a Winter Games.
Moriam Seun Adigun is a Nigerian-American athlete born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The 31-year-old athlete is a track and field athlete who specializes in the 100 meters hurdles. She competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics but did not qualify from her heat. In 2016, she founded the Nigeria Bobsleigh team. She is the niece of former American basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon.
Akuoma Omeoga is a 25-year-old Nigerian-American athlete who competed in athletics at a national collegiate level in the United States of America, before being recruited by Seun Adigun to be part of the first Nigerian Bobsleigh team. She first tried bobsleigh in 2016 in Houston, TX.
Simidele Adeife Omonla Adeagbo is Africa’s first female skeleton athlete, as well as the first black female athlete in the sport of skeleton. Before competing in the skeleton, the 36-year-old athlete competed in the triple jump, last competing in 2008. She was born in Toronto, Canada, but now resides in Johannesburg, South Africa since 2013.
South Africa (1) - Athlete Connor Wilson will represent South Africa at the 2018 Winter Olympics Alpine skiing event. The 21-year-old athlete was selected as South Africa's flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
Togo (1) - Togolese-born skier and former competitor for France Mathilde-Amivi Petitjean will represent Togo at the Cross-Country skiing event. Originally from Kpalime, Togo, the 23-year-old athlete moved to France at the age of two. She represented France at the junior level, before switching to compete for Togo at the start of the 2013/14 season.
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