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HK teen gets chance to ski into Games history

Sports | Feb 12, 2018
Hong Kong's Arabella Ng launches her historic Olympic campaign today when she competes in the women's giant slalom at the start of the Alpine skiing competition at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

With the postponement of yesterday's men's downhill because of high winds, the women will compete before the men in ski racing at the Olympics for the first time since 1984.

Ng and her fellow skiers will face a "challenge" when they take to the slopes on the Yongpyong course , according to race chief Atle Skaardal.

A bitterly cold day is forecast, with temperatures of -16 degrees Celsius at the start of the first leg in the morning. That will be accompanied by winds gusting at up to 18m/s, lending a truly glacial chill to proceedings.

"It will be, for sure, a challenge for the racers ... for everybody," Skaardal said.

Racers were able to train yesterday despite strong winds.

"It's super exciting. I'm just glad I can add Hong Kong to the list of places competing," Ng said before her departure for the Games. "I'm just going to do my best and hopefully make Hong Kong proud."

Ng, who trains in Vermont in the United States, is the only Hong Kong athlete who qualified for Pyeongchang - and at 16 she's also one of the youngest competitors. Ng is just the sixth athlete to represent Hong Kong in the Winter Games - and the first on snow. The five previous representatives were speed skaters who competed on ice.

She will also compete in the slalom on Wednesday.

American Mikaela Shiffrin, 22, is among the skiers to watch. She was the slalom gold medalist at the 2014 Sochi Games, where she also finished fifth in the giant slalom won by Tina Maze. Like Ng, Shiffrin also trains in Vermont.

Shiffrin will not have to worry about Maze today as the Slovenian has since retired, but she will face German Viktoria Rebensburg, who won gold in Vancouver in 2010 and bronze four years ago, and France's Tessa Worley.

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