PYEONGCHANG, South Korea: Sabrina Simader said it was a “dream come true” to be at the Winter Olympics as the first female alpine skier for Kenya.
Simader, 19, has lived in Austria since the age of three and has an Austrian father, but opted to take the Kenyan route to participating in the Pyeongchang Games.
“I am happy to go for Kenya, but there are some problems, it’s not so easy,” said Simader, who is accompanied in South Korea by three-time Olympian Philip Boit.
“The organisation is difficult because in Kenya skiing is not so well known.
“We are not professional in Kenya, we are still on our way up. But we made it to Pyeongchang and I am really glad for that.”
Simader still has extended family back in the east African country and she said they had been “really supportive”.
“My grandparents, aunties and cousins and a lot of other people are sending me messages saying ‘We are behind you’.
“That motivates me. To perform excites me. I will give everything I have. I feel strong and in a good way.”
As a one-woman team, Simader was the only person available to carry the Kenyan flag at Friday’s opening ceremony.
“I was really proud. It’s cool seeing a big team like Canada in front of you. That was funny,” she said. “It was emotional for me too because the world is watching. It’s a dream come true.”