January 22, 2018
Nike’s new short film ‘Forever First’ celebrates the power and mindset of Simidele Adeagbo, who is Africa’s first ever female athlete to compete in the winter sport of skeleton and qualify for the Winter Games this year.
Adeagbo makes her return to international athletics after being in retirement for nine years and recovering from setbacks and losses, most notably after missing out on the 2004 and 2008 Summer Games as a track and field triple jump athlete.
She will be part of the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled and Skeleton team heading to PyeongChang, and participating in a sport that is almost unbeknown to Nigerians, because it has never snowed in Nigeria.
‘Forever First’ chronicles the spirit of a relentless athlete in pursuit of competing at the highest level in sport while breaking barriers and re-writing history.
Narrated by the award-winning author, speaker and digital strategist, and fellow Nigerian, Luvvie Ajayi, the inspirational message digs deep at Adeagbo’s inner voice to push the limits and just do it.
“At Nike we believe in the significance and legacy one can leave behind through sports. ‘Forever First’ is a film that will inspire others to follow in Simi’s history making tracks; she is the first and we hope she won’t be the last to do the unthinkable,” says Alissa Jenkins, Brand Director, Nike South Africa.
Adeagbo has already broken barriers before even setting foot at the winter games, by being the first ever female African athlete to not only qualify for the Games, but to do so in record time.
In August 2017, Adeagbo participated in the Nigerian Bobsled and Skeleton tryouts, and was then invited to team camp and touched a Skeleton sled for the first time on September 12th, 2017. She completed her fifth qualifying race on January 11th, 2018 in Lake Placid with a strong podium finish, placing third in the North American Cup (NAC) race.
Born in Toronto, USA, to Nigerian parents, Adeagbo lived in Nigeria from when she was an infant to six years old, before returning to the US and going on to become a formidable athlete, while igniting her career at Nike.
Her journey to South Korea began shortly before December 2016, when she first heard of the Nigerian women’s bobsled team while based at Nike’s offices in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Says Jenkins: “At Nike, we are proud to have a culture that fosters the power of sport inside and outside the doors of the brand.”