High praise for Sive | SASCOC - SASCOC

High praise for Sive

SASCOC CEO Mr Tubby Reddy on Monday paid tribute to our Winter Youth Olympic Games representative, Sive Speelman.

Sixteen-year old Speelman was South Africa’s sole representative at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics which concluded in Innsbruck, Austria at the weekend.

Speelman, who hails from the Eastern Cape, took part in four events during the competition which ran from 13-22 January.

“It was extremely heartening to see Sive in action against athletes from 74 nations,” said Reddy, head of South Africa’s Olympic governing body. “There is no doubt that he represented his country with honour and distinction.

“He definitely put South Africa on the map at these Games. We must remember that he is a young African guy competing against skiers who have all taken part in snowsport activities from an extremely young age.”

“His best event was his third event, the Giant Slalom, where he finished 35th and contrary to media reports saying he finished last, he finished 35th out of a total of 48 fellow competitors and 64 starters, giving every reason for South Africa to be very proud of him.”

Reddy also emphasised that there was nothing untoward about the size of the management team that accompanied Speelman to the Games. “There were 14 countries who had only one athlete representing them and, as per the normal process, they had exactly the same number of officials as us, namely, a coach, chef de mission, project manager and their respective presidents and secretary-generals also accompanied the team at various occasions.”

Reddy went on to say that in terms of meeting, networking and exchanging ideas and information, the trip had been invaluable.

“Sive was also very well received in Austria. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) commissioned their video unit to do a special documentary on him and we eagerly await a copy of this to see our athlete in action.”

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