Twenty-six-year-old Elise Pellegrin will be flying the Maltese flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics which will take place between the 9th and 25th February in Pyeongchang, Korea.
Alpine Skier Pellegrin, will be making her second appearance in the Winter Olympics, having represented Malta in Sochi in 2014. Her starting ranking in the Giant Slalom was 91 four years ago. Following her first run she finished in 72nd position whilst after the second run she went up eight places to finish in 64th place. Pellegrin fared better in the Slalom event placing 52nd in her first run and moving up to 39th place in the second run.
In order to seek qualification for the 2018 Winter Games Pellegrin competed in a number of FIS competitions held in Argentina, Italy, France and the United States.
In Pyeongchang, Pellegrin will be competing in the Women’s Giant Slalom and the Women’s Slalom. Competitions will take place at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre on the 12th and 14th February. Throughout the competition Pellegrin will be under the watchful eye of her coach Marvin Hocquaux.
Malta’s hopes to have a second athlete were dashed when Jenise Spiteri, competing in the Snowboard Half Pipe discipline, narrowly missed out qualification. She finished in 25th place, with only the top 24 making it to Pyeongchang.
“It is an honour for us to see the Maltese flag flying proudly in Pyeongchang. We are pleased to see that the support given to these athletes, though the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship scheme are bearing fruit” remarked Julian Pace Bonello, President, Maltese Olympic Committee. “Despite Jenise Spiteri narrowly missing out on qualification, Malta’s participation in Winter Sports was something unheard of in the past years, so we are confident that in future there will be more athletes representing Malta in the Winter Games”.
“I am very proud and honoured to represent Malta for the second time in the Winter Olympic Games. I have been working hard towards this goal for months, where my focus was completely towards these Games and training was a mix of physical, technical and mental training.” commented Elise Pellegrin “My Maltese grandmother instilled in me a love for Malta, and I will do my best to make Malta, and those who put their faith in me, proud”
Pellegrin will be the flag bearer during the opening ceremony which will take place on Friday 9th at 12:00 Central European Time. The Maltese contingent will be made up of Maltese Olympic Committee President Mr. Julian Pace Bonello, Secretary General Mr. Joseph Cassar as guests of the International Olympic Committee, whilst Dr. Lucienne Attard will be acting as Chef de Mission for the contingent.