Sabrina Wanjiku Simader, Kenya’s sole representative at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea says she is targeting a podium finish.
She will become the first Kenyan female to compete at the Winter Games. The 19-year-old, who is based in Austria, will compete in women’s super-G and giant Slolam at the Games that will take place between February 9 to 25.
She said: “My dream is to win a medal, but I just want to give a good performance that will help me become a professional in the discipline.”
“My wish two years ago was to take part in the Olympics. I’m glad this dream has come true,” she added in a video message from her training base in Austria. Simader competed at the Winter Youth Games, 2017 World Cup Alhine skiing circuit and World skiing championship in St Moritiz last year where she gained qualification to the Winter Olympics.
She received a Sh12 million sponsorship from the South Korean firm KEB Hana Card.
“With this investment, she will be able to train comfortably and take part at the Games,” South Korea Ambassador to Kenya, Kwan Young Dea said at a function to unveil the sponsorship on Thursday night in Nairobi.
Simader will be managed at the Games by Philip Boit, who created history as the first Kenyan Winter Olympian when he competed in Nagano, Japan in 1998.
National Olympic Committee of Kenya president Paul Tergat lauded the sponsorship.
“I pledged that I will grow all sports when elected in office, this is the reason we are here to celebrate this rare achievement. It’s a dream come true for Sabrina and us," Tergat added.
Also in attendance at the event was Sports PS Kirimi Kaberia, who made an assurance that Kenya’s future in the Olympics is now bright following the establishment of the National Sports Lottery Fund.