'Being First' Winter Olympian Simidele Adeagbo shares her journey with elementary students

'Being First' Winter Olympian Simidele Adeagbo shares her journey with elementary students
(Photo Credit: Candice Ward Photography)
(Photo Credit: Candice Ward Photography)
(Photo Credit: Candice Ward Photography)
(Photo Credit: Candice Ward Photography)

by Courtney Cole

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A second chance story turned into a dream come true for Olympian Simidele Adeagbo.

After only making it to the Olympic trials for triple jump, she continued to pursue her goal of going to the Olympics, but this time for a different sport.

Adeagbo became Africa's first athlete to compete in the skeleton event at the winter Olympics, and now she is sharing her story with Statesville Road Elementary students.

Students at the school had been studying her accomplishments during Black History Month and even wrote her letters about how she inspired them.

"It has my hopes up that I can do anything I put my mind to," said Ja'Kiya Davis Armstrong, Statesville Road Elementary student.

Adeagbo had been to the Olympic trials twice already in 2004 and 2008 but decided to challenge herself by changing her sport entirely.

"Never in a million years would I have guessed that I would be at the winter Olympics doing something called skeleton," Adeagbo said.

Skeleton is a single rider sport where the athlete travels at high speeds on an ice track while lying face down on a skeleton sled.

In just four months Adeagbo learned and perfected her skeleton racing but she said it was not easy.

"I had to push past fear, pain and being in cold conditions," Adeagbo said.

Adeagbo is sharing her story to remind others that anything is possible.

"It makes me feel like I can go to the swimming Olympics, because I like to swim a lot," said Kyla Miller Statesville Road Elementary student.

Adeagbo hopes that by sharing her set of firsts, it will inspire others to do the same.

"Being first is how you define being first it doesn't always mean a gold medal,"  Adeagbo said.

Moving forward she said she is open to where skeleton racing will take her and is looking forward to upcoming Olympic opportunities.

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