NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19- Sabrina Simader Wanjiku made history by being the first ever Kenyan woman to don the red, green and black of the national flag at the Winter Olympics and the 19-year old has expressed her ecstasy at representing the country.
The Norway-based skier participated in two events at the Pyeongchang games in the Republic of Korea, the Giant Slalom and the Super Giant Slalom.
In her first event on Thursday, the Giant Slalom, she finished off at 59th place from a starting rank of 67 while in her favourite discipline, the Super G, she managed to come home 38th from a starting rank of 41, only just over five seconds off the medal brackets.
“I am happy with the results. The GS was not very good because I fell out in the second loop but in the second, the Super G which is my perfect discipline I did my best and enjoyed myself. Coming five seconds off the winner was great,” Wanjiku opined.
She was Kenya’s lone flag-bearer during the opening ceremony of the event, accompanied by Kenya’s Chief de Mission Philip Boit who was Kenya’s first ever Winter Olympiad.
“It was pretty cool and amazing to be at my first Olympics at 19 years. I felt really proud and enjoyed it. It was a big deal for me,” the overly excited Wanjiku added.
Even as she looks to finish off her season with the World Championships as well as Junior Championships in Italy, Wanjiku hopes her experience and determination to make it into the next Olympics can inspire more Kenyans to take up winter sports.
“I am ready to share my experience with other Kenyans who are willing to take up winter sports. There are lots of experiences I have picked up from the Olympics and lessons I am certainly hoping to share,” she added.
Wanjiku who had her family over in Pyeongchang during the games has thanked Kenyans who offered her immense support despite from miles away and has vowed to ensure she improves and help Kenya earn her first ever Winter Olympics medal in 2022.
Boit, Kenya’s Chief de Mission and National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) boss Paul Tergat were ecstatic with Wanjiku’s performance over the two events and expressed optimism that she has a bright future.
-Sabrina’s Interview excerpts courtesy Sarah Wong