February 10, 2018 / 7:25 AM / 6 months ago

Kenyan Simader says living her dream at Pyeongchang Games

PYEONGCHANG (Reuters) - Kenya’s first Alpine Olympic skier Sabrina Wanjiku Simader says her dream has come true as she prepares to take to the slopes at the Pyeongchang Games.

FILE PHOTO: Alpine Skiing - FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup - Women's Alpine Super G - St. Moritz, Switzerland - December 9, 2017 - Sabrina Simader of Kenya reacts at the finish line. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

Simader, who was born in Kenya but raised in Austria, said her passion for skiing grew as she won races at a young age.

“To begin with I wasn’t so keen. I’d say with five or six years, when I started being on the podiums the motivation grew slowly,” she told Reuters Television.

Friday’s opening ceremony where Simader, 19, carried the Kenyan flag was “really nice and emotional,” she said.

“It has always been my dream, but then this dream came true and that I’m here is simply incredible.”

Simader will become only the second Kenyan to compete at the Winter Games after Philip Boit, a former middle distance runner who participated in cross-country skiing at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Games.

Reporting by Ilze Filks, editing by Darren Schuettler

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