NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8- Skier Sabrina Wanjiku, Kenya’s sole representative at this year’s Winter Olympics arrived in Pyeongchang, South Korea ahead of the games’ official opening ceremony on Friday.
The 19-year old will be carrying the hopes of millions of Kenyans as she marches with the delegation led by Chef de Mission, Philip Boit, himself a former and first Kenyan Winter Games Olympian.
The Kenyan team arrived in the winter-stricken, icy chill South Korean city of Pyeongchang, ready to make history as the first-ever Kenyan female takes on other native skiers in her challenging giant-slalom and super giant-slalom alpine skiing category from February 12.
“To say we are over-excited despite the crazy conditions here over Sabrina’s determination is an understatement. Everybody here is so thrilled over our real chances to advance in this Games through Sabrina,” NOCK President, Paul Tergat said as he welcomed the Kenyan delegation to Pyeongchang.
Tergat had travelled in advance as a Member of the IOC and used the occasion to rally the support of Kenyans and well wishers for Kenya’s sole competitor in the unique but highly popular Olympic Games outside of Africa.
Sabrina who learnt her skiing skills at school in Austria after leaving Kenya at 3 years to join her mother, Sarah Simader is coached by Christian Reif and has already made a mark in the skiing community.
She qualified for the Pyeongchang Winter Games last year during the World skiing Championship in St. Moritz and also took part in the same year in World Cup Alpine skiing circuit with very impressive showing.
“I have a lot of faith and tremendous confidence in this girl to surprise us during these Games. She is so happy with her qualification and preparations. Her dream to participate in Olympics has come true,” Boit said.
Skiing as a sport such as Sabrina’s alpine skiing category is very expensive in terms of training needs from equipment to personnel.
Her participation in the Winter Games this year has been boosted by NOCK’s partnership with the Korean KEB Hana Card company which injected in Sh12mn to enable NOCK participate well in the Games in Korea.
Through this sponsorship, the Kenyan girl’s dream of having her grandmother Naomi Wanjiku., who raised her till she was 3 years in Kirenga village, Lari, Kiambu County attend the Games was has been actualized, which will greatly boost her morale.