Sabrina Wanjiku Simader, Kenya's first female Winter Olympian has withdrawn from the 2022 Winter Olympics scheduled to take place from February 4 to 20 in China.
Lack of Government support forces Wanjiku to withdraw from Winter Olympics
My dreams are broken - Sabrina Wanjiku Simader
Citing a lack of support for winter athletes, Wanjiku will miss out on the Quadrennial event from what would have been her second Winter Olympics.
Wanjiku, the first African alpine skier to enter the World Cup accused the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) of denying her financial support that was desperately needed for training.
"In July 2021 I was in Kenya to visit my family, to organize & plan with the @officialteamkenya . They promised me to finance my team in the preparation season especially the speed camps, which is my main discipline," revealed Wanjiku in a long but candid Instagram post.
Wanjiku, a super giant slalom athlete requires a 400–600 meters vertical drop training course to help prepare for major global competitions.
"Unfortunately I‘ve never trained in the preparation seasons before, only some super-g, but never on World Cup level slopes. Without a budget we can’t afford a speed training camp." she revealed.
The 23 year old further explained that NOC-K only transferred a small amount that she used to settle pending debts.
"They transferred a small amount which covered the debts. They encouraged me to keep training & wait for the governments budget, but nothing happened."
Wanjiku concluded by expressing her disappointment at the Government, NOC-K in particular for not lending a helping hand to athletes.
"It’s very challenging to manage and keep the balance of being an athlete & organizer, during competitions my mind should focus on the races," she said.
Wanjiku, also known as the Snow Leopard due to her speed, grew up in Austria where she picked up the sport. She started skiing at the age of three.