NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Sabrina Wanjiku Simader has impressed
many by her technique, skills and speed in skiing and will be
the focal point as the Winter Olympic Games kick off in
PyeongChang on Friday.
However, to others
Simader remains another minnow trying to punch above her weight.
Well, only time will tell as expectant Kenyans dream of their
first ever medal at the Games.
qualification for the Games was not given as was the case for
Kenya’s first man Philip Boit in Nagano, Japan. She gained her
ticket after competing in the World Championships last February.
She also represented
Kenya at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics in Norway, when she came
in the top 25 of all three disciplines she competed in. Now she
has her eyes trained at the medal stand in PyeongChang and not
any stares critics will deter her.
“Stares give me a
push,” she said. “That I can make it. I can prove myself.”
The 19-year-old, who
is based in Austria, will compete in women’s super-G and giant
slalom at the Games.
And unlike Boit who
made history to be the first man from Kenya to compete at the
Games and finished last at his debut in Nagano in the 10km
cross-country skiing, Wanjiru is keen to win a medal.
“My dream is to win
a medal. I want to give a good performance, which will help me
become a professional in the discipline,” she said.
However, the world
has always taken for granted skiers from African nations. Most
Africans are looked on as amateurs at the Olympic Games but for
Wanjiku, she is throwing down the gauntlet and aiming for the
medals and wish her away on your own peril.
“PyeongChang will be
my springboard. I want to become a professional skier and nobody
should take this as a joke. Hopefully my performance will speak
for me,” she added.
The Kenyan has taken
on challenging and dangerous speed disciplines, downhill and
Super G in her adopted home in Vienna.