A huge congratulations goes out to Sabrina Wanjiku Simader!
She is about to become the first female and only the second ever Kenyan athlete to compete at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
The 19-year-old speed skier was born in Kenya but raised in Austria.
Sabrina has already taken her first steps on the World Cup Alpine skiing circuit.
She is passionate about establishing herself as a professional skier.
‘Because I’m a Kenyan, that makes me exotic and some people think I can’t ski well,’ she said after competing in the Super G at St Moritz, the second World Cup race of her career.
‘I want to give a good performance that helps me to become a professional.’
Sabrina speaks German rather than English and is already winning respect on the International Ski Federation circuit.
‘At the beginning, people looked at me – okay, a black skier always gets looked at – but when your performances get better and you improve, you win them over,’ she said.
Sabrina will become only the second Kenyan to compete at the Winter Games after Philip Boit.
Boit is a former middle distance runner who participated in cross-country skiing at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Games.
Sabrina, who has lived in Austria since the age of three, has already competed at the Winter Youth Games in 2016 and last year’s world skiing championships in St Moritz.
‘My roots are Kenyan but I have the Austrian mentality,’ she said.
‘I didn’t live there but I’m very proud of my Kenyan roots. I’m looking forward to representing Kenya enormously. The Olympics have been my dream since I was small.’