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Kenya's Tshanda makes history with ticket to Winter Olympics

Athletics
 Ashley Tshanda Ongong’a is the first African and Kenyan female cross-country skier to qualify for the Winter Youth Olympic Games. [Nock Media]

Kenya's Ashley Tshanda has secured a quota place to represent Kenya at the Winter Youth Olympics Gangwon 2024, set to take place in Gangwon, South Korea from January 19-February 1, 2024.

The 16-year-old qualified based on her International Ski Federation ranking of the women's Youth Olympic Games quota allocation lists as of December 18, 2023.

Tshanda, will make history as the first African and Kenyan female cross-country skier to qualify for the Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Born in Italy and holding dual Kenyan and Italian citizenship, Ashley chose to represent Kenya internationally.

She is guided by some of the best ski coaches in Italy, where she attends a sports school, Bachmann Sport College -Tarvisio, under coach Francesco Silverio. It is here that she has horned her skiing skills and achieved notable successes at various competitions.

Meanwhile, when Swiss figure skater Naoki Rossi was just five years old, he had so much energy bouncing around his house that his parents needed something to help him sleep at night.

The answer? Skating.

“My mum brought me to the ice so I could at least be a little tired, or wiped out” at bedtime, Rossi told Olympics.com early this year after winning bronze at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Italy. “I think she just wanted me to behave normally; sleep in silence,” he adds.

“I was already dancing since I was born.”

Now 16, the reigning world junior silver medallist has harnessed that energy to help make him one of the emerging young skaters in the sport.

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