St. Paul native and former University of Minnesota track star Akuoma Omeoga became part of the first African nation bobsled team in Olympics history on Tuesday.
Omeoga, the brakewoman, and her teammate Seun Adigun, the driver, qualified for the Olympics with Nigeria, and they finished their first run in 52.21 seconds.
Nigeria isn't expected to take home a medal in PyeongChang, but all three members of the team told NBC News earlier this month that being role models is a bigger reward.
Omeoga graduated from Irondale High School in the Twins Cities in 2010 and then ran track as a sprinter for the Gophers from 2011-14.
"After college I told myself I would pick up a new sport, you know, something Nigerians do, like play soccer," Omeoga wrote in her bio for the Olympics. "I never thought it would be bobsled. I am challenging myself to take risks and experience something new.
"'Something new' can be scary, but the moment you do something you fear, you automatically build strength. That is what this journey is about for me.".