Luke Steyn makes history

HARARE - Alpine skier Luke Steyn made history by becoming the first Zimbabwean to compete at the Winter Olympics when he came 57th in the giant slalom race in Sochi, Russia, yesterday.

This was the first time Zimbabwe was being represented in Winter Olympics. 

It was a commendable performance by Steyn, who is ranked 1711 on the International Ski Federation (ISF) World Rankings.

A total of 109 skiers took part in yesterday’s event and only 79 where able to complete their runs.

In his first run, Steyn come in 61st place after clocking a time of 1:32.20.

Although the Zimbabwean was 11.12sec behind leader and eventual winner Ted Ligety of the United States, Steyn had done enough to get into the second run.

Steyn had a much smoother run on the second go as he clocked a time of  1:34.35.

Steyn was evidently ecstatic after the race and took to Twitter to express his happiness. 

“Tough conditions today, but overall not bad! Went from bib 90 into 57th position and know I can improve! Thanks everyone for the support!!!,” the 20-year-old Tweeted yesterday afternoon.

Swimming icon Kirsty Coventry, who is also in Sochi as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) ambassador, also congratulated Steyn on Twitter.

“Congratulations to Zimbabwe's 1st Winter Olympian. Luke Steyn came 57th in Giant Slalom from 90th (out of 109 athletes). On 22 February he races Slalom,” Tweeted Coventry, who won seven Olympic medals in various swimming disciplines.

David Coltart, the former Zimbabwe Sports minister, Tweeted: “Screaming my head off in Bulawayo for Luke Steyn - you beauty! In the first run completed this unbelievably hard course and came in 60th (out of well over 100 skiers) - many, many skiers didn't even finish the course! Well done Luke - you made us all incredibly proud!”

Steyn’s next race is on Saturday when he competes in the slalom race and will have his confidence boosted by yesterday’s performance.

In the slalom, athletes must ski a course marked with flags and gates that are spaced much closer together than in the downhill event, giant slalom, or super giant slalom.

In this competition, athletes must ski two courses, and the sum of their results makes up their total time.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.