Eritrean Skier Only African to Finish Men’s Olympic Slalom

Skier Shannon Abeda of Eritrea at 2022 Winter Olympics
A spectacular achievement. Skier Shannon Abeda of Eritrea came 39th out of 88 contestants from 60 nations.

BY IGNATIUS ANNOR | VOA NEWS

Eritrea’s Shannon Ogbnai-Abeda placed 39th in the men’s giant slalom, the only African who managed to complete his run in the event.

A double blast of heavy snow and temperatures dropping to minus 22 degrees Celsius made the downhill race treacherous on Sunday, and only 46 of 87 skiers were able to finish the course.

Abeda clocked runs of one minute, 17.95 seconds, and one minute, 22.50 seconds, totaling 2 minutes, 40.45 seconds.

Skiers from Ghana, Morocco, and Madagascar were among those who did not complete the race.

The only African female skier in the women’s giant slalom, Madagascar’s Mialitiana Clerc, placed 41st out of the 49 skiers who finished the race.

In the men’s cross-country sprint, Nigeria’s Samuel Ikpefan came in 73rd out of 88 contestants.

Meanwhile, Jamaica made history at the Olympics fielding by its first Alpine skier.

 

Benjamin Alexander, a former DJ who took to the sport at age 32 six years ago, came in last out of the 46 skiers that completed the men’s giant slalom.

The 38-year-old said he was hopeful that his participation in the Olympics would be an inspiration to others. In December last year, Alexander told Time.com that ”my gold medal is walking in the opening ceremonies.”