You Might Be Looking at Kenya’s First Medal Winning Skier

A 17-year-old girl could become Kenya’s first medal winning skier, according to our only other Winter Olympian.

Philip Boit, who competed in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics, saw compatriot Sabrina Simader Wanjiku finish 23rd place in this past weekend’s ladies’ super-G alpine skiing Winter Youth Olympics event in Lillehammer, Norway. Boit said he’s confident that 17-year-old Wanjiku, who lives and trains in Austria, could become the first Kenyan skier to stand on an international medal podium.

“When I was competing, I used to predict that in 10 years’ time you would maybe see a Kenyan win a gold medal and people would say, ‘you are joking,'” Boid, who retired in 2011, told The Nation. “But I can see my dream is going somewhere. The way she is skiing at 17, I think that by the time she is 20, we can get a medal.”

Wanjiku emigrated to Norway together with her mother when she was only 3. Once in the Alps, Wanjiku soon enrolled in a ski school in Schladming, moving up the ranks and training beside other young talent.

“I know, at first, my grandpa in Kenya was really afraid because he thought it was dangerous, but now he is proud of me,” Wanjiku said. “I hope I make all Kenyans proud.”

Apparently, one Kenyan in particular is already very proud of the 17-year-old.

“She lives in Austria and is training there, so why, in two years’ time, can’t we get a medal?” Boit said.

Originally from Sweden, Chris is a journalist with an extensive interest for African culture and the arts.