Jennifer Calfas, Time Magazine:
The bobsled team — composed of athletes Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere — and Nigeria’s history-making skeleton athlete Simidele Adeagbo are the first to compete for the country at the Winter Olympics, and viewers watching NBC’s primetime broadcast of the Opening Ceremony Friday night could barely contain their excitement.
I was happy to see so many teams from Africa in this morning’s Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. Eight African teams in all.
This will be the most African Winter Olympics ever – Yomi Kazeem, Quartz
This year will see the highest number of African countries—eight in total—participating at a single Winter Olympics event. Eritrea and Nigeria will make their debuts with Kenya, Morocco, Ghana, Madagascar, South Africa, Togo completing the African party. In total, 13 athletes from African countries are scheduled to compete—a record high since 1994 when tougher qualifying standards were imposed.
For African athletes, the journey to the Winter Olympics is typically anything but smooth-sailing. An obvious obstacle for African Winter Olympics hopefuls is the absence of weather conditions that aid training. As a result, a majority of African athletes that have competed at the Winter Olympics have either been born or/and trained outside the continent.
Yomi Kazeem, writing in Quartz:
As Nigeria’s battles on to become a polio-free country, Bill and Melinda Gates have taken an extraordinary step to give Africa’s largest economy a helping hand through their foundation.
The foundation will pay off a $76 million loan taken from Japan to aid the fight against polio. The loan was taken in 2014 and repayments were due to begin this year. A Gates Foundation spokesperson confirmed the loan repayment in an email to Quartz. Gates Foundation says it agreed to repay the loan after Nigeria met the condition of achieving more than 80% vaccination coverage in at least one round each year in very high risk areas across 80% of the country’s local government areas. The loan will be repaid over a period of 20 years.