Photo of @seun_msamazing by @mollychoma Nigerian-American athlete Seun Adigun (@seun_msamazing) and her teammates are making history. They’re the first African bobsled team to qualify for the Winter Olympics. “It feels absolutely amazing,” says Seun, who was born in the U.S. to Nigerian immigrant parents. “It’s surreal on a daily basis.” Seun, the driver on her team of three, found bobsledding through track and field, which she’d competed in at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Years later, after countless hours of training on both dry land and the ice track, she’s taking her bobsled team to compete in #Pyeongchang2018. And once the games are over, Seun, who lives in Houston and just graduated with a degree in chiropractic work, wants to continue working with Olympians. “I plan to open my chiropractic practice along with a high-performance injury prevention and rehabilitation facility for elite-level athletes.” 🇳🇬 The Winter Olympics (@olympics) are taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 9-25. Tune in as we spotlight competing athletes from around the world.
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Photo by @tessledeux Sixteen-year-old Tess Ledeux (@tessledeux) still remembers her first backcountry ski experience in her hometown in the French Alps: “I was following much older friends and decided to drop off a small cliff with them,” says Tess, who was 9 years old at the time. “The result was a broken nose, but it didn’t stop my love of jumps and tricks!” ⛷ Tess is the youngest French athlete representing her country at the Winter Olympics this year in #Pyeongchang2018. “It’s just so cool to see all these athletes from so many different countries and cultures, all reunited by their love for winter sports,” says the slopestyle skier, a sport that combines downhill skiing with terrain park obstacles, like jumps and rails. “After the Olympics, I’ll probably take a short break from skiing. But I’ll soon get back to practicing. I can’t go too long without it!” 🇫🇷 The Winter Olympics (@olympics) are taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 9-25. Tune in as we spotlight competing athletes from around the world.
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Photo by @shaistadeen Photographer Shaista Deen (@shaistadeen) is giving the world the role model she wanted. “Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, I never saw any female hijabi photographers,” says the 22-year-old great-great-granddaughter of Indian immigrants. At age 14, she saved up for her first camera. With a bedroom desk lamp as her studio light and a stack of books as a tripod, she captured what was closest: her friends, her family and herself. “I was very different with regards to the way I saw myself back then,” she remembers. “I was depressed for a period of time as a teenager. Photography was one of the main things that helped me out of that. I was extremely insecure about myself, pessimistic and doubted my abilities a lot. After I was able to get past all of that, I wanted to help others do the same.” Now, she’s a university student (and freelance photographer) living in the UK, but Shaista misses her homeland — and the Caribbean sun. “I love my little island and I’m proud of where I’m from,” she says. Watch today’s story to learn more about Shaista.
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Video by @debachak Bodybuilders and acrobats gather at the famed Muscle Beach in California to show off their strength — as in this video from photographer Deb Achak (@debachak). “Eager to see this particular athlete perform, I asked if I could capture him as he practiced,” says Deb. “He happily obliged.”
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Video by @nifmuhammad Throughout #BlackHistoryMonth, celebrated during February in the United States and Canada, we’re highlighting next-generation creatives of color who are shaping the future of their communities. Each of the featured accounts was selected by writer, curator and activist Kimberly Drew (@museummammy). “Hanif Abdurraqib (@nifmuhammad) is a deeply talented writer and educator, representing as a beacon of hope, dedicated to championing black culture, authenticity and the written word,” says Kimberly of Hanif. “Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, he reps the Midwest in everything that he does, constantly interrogating notions of home in his work. As conversations about gentrification in the US loom large, Hanif is able to bring new, personal perspectives through his poetry. He has a great sense of humor while remaining committed to telling the truth. As an educator, he shared with me that he encourages his students to write about the music that makes them feel most seen, and that sometimes he’ll get essays or poems about [American hip-hop group] Migos. That’s the future I want to live in.” Watch our story to see more from Hanif.
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“Glitter against gloom” is how Indian fashion designer Ashish Gupta (@ashish) describes his colorful, sequined clothes. “Growing up in New Delhi, I always admired my mum’s silk saris and her collection of shoes,” says Ashish. “She had such great taste. It really made me appreciate fabrics and colors, and want to make beautiful outfits — I couldn’t imagine a more glamorous way of living.” After moving to London more than 20 years ago to complete a degree in fashion at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design — and once having his entire portfolio of work stolen at a train station in Paris — Ashish first showed his collection at the 2004 London Fashion Week. He hasn’t stopped creating his “understated overstatement” designs since. “It feels scary, exciting, familiar, moving and inspiring,” says Ashish of showing at #LFW. “I never get used to it - every show feels as intense as the first time.” Watch our story to go behind the scenes with Ashish at his show in London. ✨