Tuesday, May 24

From Haute-Savoie to the Winter Olympics: the beautiful story of Samuel Ikpefan

Thanks to him, Nigeria will participate in the Olympic Winter Games for the second time in a row. Samuel Ikpefan will become the first skier in history to represent Nigeria at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

It’s hard to imagine such a journey. Born in Haute-Savoie, Samuel Ikpefan now skis under the Nigerian flag.

“I wanted to return to the high level and turn to my second nationality,” he said.

It’s hard to imagine that one can indulge in this sport in this hot country. There is, however, a Nigerian Ski Federation, as he discovered on the spot: “I had to bring my equipment to Nigeria… It was super atypical!”

To prove himself

World Cup, World Cup, international competitions follow one another for the athlete who must prove himself, against all odds: “at 39 degrees, skiing in Nigeria, there is no one who does that!”

“We have to find the financial means, build a staff… It’s a little harder,” he admits.

But this work behind the scenes paid off: Samuel Ikpefan is now the first skier in history to represent this country. And is proud of it: “I live African and European. I eat African and European. I listen to African and European… Of course, it’s a source of pride. For me, for my family, my ancestors, the African and Nigerian people.”


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