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Kenyan skier Wanjiku set to make history

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The 19-year-old, who is based in Austria, is the only Kenyan competitor in the February 9-25 Games but will be joined by Philip Boit. PHOTO/Ski Online

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2- Sabrina Wanjiku Simader is set to make history in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as the first female alpine skier to compete for Kenya in the Winter Olympics.

The 19-year-old, who is based in Austria, is the only Kenyan competitor in the February 9-25 Games but will be joined by Philip Boit, who created history as the first Kenyan Winter Olympian in Nagano, Japan in 1998, as her team leader.

Simader qualified for the Games after taking part in the World Ski Championships in St Moritz, Switzerland, last February, and will compete in the Women’s Super-G and Giant Slalom in Pyeongchang.

She said she had been inspired by the desire to be the first Kenyan and only African woman to qualify for alpine skiing in the Winter Olympics.

“I am so honoured to take part in the Olympics Games which brings the whole world together,” said Simader from her base in Liezen, Austria.

“I am very grateful for my sponsors, my family, my team and my friends who motivated me through this journey.”

Kenya is well-known for producing world-class long-distance runners but, like most African nations, has seen little success in winter sports that are largely foreign on a continent where snow and cold temperatures are rare.

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