Nigerian Couple Makes History As The First African Team To Win A Match At World Curling Championship
Relationship goals and career goals in one big bag.
A husband-and-wife duo just became the first African team in history to win a match at the World Curling Championship.
OkayAfrica reports Tijani and Susana Cole initially experienced a blow-out in their first championship match against the Czech Republic, which ended in a 20-0 loss. However, the couple representing Nigeria, who reportedly picked up the sport only three years ago, made a triumphant comeback in their following match against France.
With an 8-5 mixed double win, the team honored their opponents with a handshake. Seconds later, the Norway Sormarka Arena erupted with celebratory cheers from fans and curlers alike in acknowledgment of the milestone defeat.
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CURLING HISTORY— Devin Heroux (@Devin_Heroux) April 25, 2019
Nigeria defeats France 8-3 to win first game ever game at a world curling championship. Also marks the first-ever African nation to win a game at a world curling championship.
Their reaction is remarkable. #cbccurl @CBCOlympics @CBCNews pic.twitter.com/NNSgz1agzA
The sport, typically performed on ice, is carried out by teammates using brooms to direct large, round, flat stones to one of four specific areas for a point.
CBC Sports spoke with the 2019 historic winners who reiterated their joy to the publication.
"Nigeria we did it for you," said Tijani who hails from Onitsha, a south-central city of Nigeria. "I'm over over-the-top happy, elated, excited."
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He and his wife currently live in Denver and have been practicing the sport for three years. The husband told the publication that they watched the Olympic event for years together. The two are "athletes and competitors," so they were naturally overjoyed by the opportunity to represent
his home country.
The team of Susana and Tijani Cole are representing Nigeria, the first African nation competing at a @worldcurling event. We’re proud to work with them as they grow the sport. Good curling, @NigeriaCurling! #CurlAnywhere— Rock Solid Productions Inc (@RockSolidCurl) April 24, 2019
📷: @worldcurling pic.twitter.com/eoHLqYBoo3
This most recent match was their last chance to take home a win. After the previous year of traveling back and forth from Canada and Nigeria for training, they contribute their success to "hard work."
"What a great dream to share this with your best friend, my wife," Tijani continued. "You go through so many trials and tribulations. It's been a long journey."
"Even before the victory we had already won being here," Susana added.
The couple also praised their Canadian coach, Ellery Robichard, for the win.
"We have one of the greatest coaches in the world," Tijani expressed. "He knows our temperaments. He knows how to communicate. And he believes in us."
Robichard equally offered the winning moment to his players. "You saw how happy they were..." he said. "You get the feeling from there. The energy from them."
We made history again 💃💃💃👏👏 # broomzilla of Nigeria pic.twitter.com/CCoW6AEPNc— Nigeria curling (@CurlingNigeria) April 25, 2019
The team thanked Nigeria and the Nigerian Curling Federation for the opportunity to represent them, and it seems the feeling of appreciation is mutual as the team plans to continue pushing boundaries in the sport for years to come.
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