The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has announced the team to represent South Africa at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games from 9-22 January 2020.
Team South Africa will comprise two athletes, Thabo Rateleki and Hanle Van Der Merwe who will both compete in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events. They will be accompanied by their coaches, Mr Alex Heath and Ms Khaliswa Hastaga and Chef de Mission, Ms Jabu Malindi.
Thabo who is the flag bearer for these Games boasts a couple of achievements in Alpine Skiing competitions at national level. In 2018 he won a gold medal in the Slalom discipline at the National Championships. In 2019 he also placed second in the Giant Slalom discipline and third places in Slalom at the 2019 National Championships and National Junior Championships respectively qualifying him for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Hanle has participated in various International Ski Federation Championships, National Junior and Senior Championships where she produced excellent performances and placed in the top three positions. In 2019 she won three bronze medals in the Giant Slalom and Slalom events qualifying her for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics Games.
Announcing the team, SASCOC Acting CEO Ravi Govender commented, “ We congratulate our two athletes who have qualified for the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games and have already arrived in Switzerland to prepare for the opening ceremony. ”
“Although African nations are not regular participants in Winter Olympic Games mainly due to geographical reasons with very little snow of competition quality experienced on the continent, we are proud that South Africa will have representation at these Games.
“On behalf of SASCOC, we wish the team well and urge them to give it their all and be good ambassadors of South Africa, he added.”
The Acting President of SASCOC, Mr Barry Hendricks also conveyed his well wishes to the team, “We wish our athletes and coaches the very best. This event is also a leadership learning experience, we look forward to the athletes sharing their experiences in South Africa with their friends and federation.”
Issued by SASCOC
9 January 2020