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Olivier gets into Giant Slalom action for SA in Norway
- Updated: February 16, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s sole Winter Youth Olympic Games competitor, Elizabeth Olivier got her competition up and running in Lillehammer, Norway on Tuesday.
The 16-year-old Eastern Cape teenager was in action on the Giant Slalom course at these, the second edition of the Games.
In her first of two runs she ended 42nd of 44 finishers with a total time of 1min 46.60sec. Winner was Katrin Hirtl-Stanggassinger of Germany in 1:17.80.
The course was particularly punishing with a total of 11 non-finishers.
The second run saw her clocking a time of 3:28.67 as Switzerland’s Melanie Meillard won in 2:33:28.
This time around there were six non-finishers. Meillard went on to claim the gold medal in this event.
The good news is that the Sentraal High School (Bloemfontein) student’s favourite event is the slalom event later this week where she’ll be hoping for an improved showing.
Her eventual points tally was 371.97 which saw her ending 36th overall.
An exhausted Olivier told Road to Rio 2016: ‘The race was tough and difficult but I’m really glad I finished. It feels amazing to have finished my first race at the Games and I’ll definitely try my best on Thursday as well.’
Accompanying her to Norway was seasoned Winter Olympian Alex Heath, who said: ‘Elizabeth did so well in unbelievably challenging conditions!
‘In all my years of racing, I have never seen such a tough slope for a ladies’ race.
‘Elizabeth started in Bib No54, moved up to 42nd place after the first run, and finished a very credible 36th place out of the 56 girls.
‘We are so happy for her and proud of her achievement.’
Picture of Olivier in action courtesy of Johan B Olivier