Although more than four years have passed since Dr. Seun Adigun made history at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, she still hasn’t fully processed the magnitude of what she and her Nigerian teammates accomplished as the first African competitors in the bobsled. Adigun, a chiropractor and biomechanist, now works to optimize the performance of other athletes at her Extra Wellness Center practice in Houston, Texas.
“It’s going to take several years to really understand the magnitude of what was done, but for now I still live in a state of complete gratefulness that my teammates and I were able to do something that really shook the world and created such a feel good story,” said Adigun, who also competed in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2012 Olympics, making her the only African person to compete at both the Summer and Winter Games.
She added, “There are now four winter sports federations that are growing in the country of Nigeria and looking to compete athletes at international levels and to qualify for the Olympics.”
Adigun had coached at her alma mater, University of Houston, and earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees before taking up bobsled. She felt an expanded athletic resume would give her additional credibility.
“As a Black woman in sports medicine…when it came to working with NFL players, world champions, NBA players and other Olympians, it would make it a lot easier for me to be respected in that space if I competed in another Olympic Games and competed in another sport,” said Adigun. “I’ve been on a mission to revolutionize sports medicine for years.
“I spend a significant amount of time getting to the root of what their issues are,” she continued. “I treat both as a chiropractor but mostly as a biomechanist. … Especially with the athletes I work with, I treat in order to help increase their quality of life, but also increase their athletic potential—identifying their weaknesses, strengths and imbalances, teaching them how to fire certain muscles that will protect them from injuries, and identifying ways that they can get rid of current lingering issues.”
Adigun, who utilizes an integrated approach to sports medicine, made her return to the Winter Olympics this past February, joining the Nigerian team as medical staff. When the team’s lone athlete, a cross-country skier, was temporarily quarantined, she carried the flag in the Opening Ceremony. She’s also been instrumental in training bobsled and skeleton coaches and plays a role in athlete development.
“We’re on the road to Milano/Cortina 2026,” she said. “Doing whatever I can to help the next generation of athletes believe in the possibilities.”