Dubai: UAE has ensured its participation in the 4th Winter Youth Olympic Games. The event will be held in South Korea between 19 January 2024 to 01 February 2024.
The fourth edition of the event will witness the participation of 1,900 athletes in the age group 15-18 from 80 National Olympic Committees representing different nations around the world.
The competitions will be held in facilities across four different cities of the host province, Gangwon in South Korea.
The UAE team for the event comprises of
- Snowboarder, Amina AlMehairi, in the snowboard slopestyle
- Alpine skier, Alex Stringer, in alpine skiing.
The efforts of the duo in the past have paid off with this achievement. Both of them went through other competitions to qualify for the event.
It began with the UAE Championship in Ski Dubai in October 2022. The Emirati Duo had also participated in several local competitions in Europe. It aided them to gain more exposure and raise their technical level.
In addition, they underwent developmental camps in several snow resorts in Switzerland, Austria, France and New Zealand. The camps aimed to provide more exposure, raise the technical level of the players and collect points. The qualifiers and points collected by the players at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in New Zealand contributed towards their qualification for the Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Certain requirements need to be met to participate in the event
- The players must obtain an international licence issued by the International Ski Federation
- The participants must be between the ages of 15-18.
- They must also have participated in a previous championship, a requirement that both UAE players meet.
Mr. Fares Al Mutawa, Secretary-General of the UAE National Olympic Committee, highlighted the significance of Emirati athletes participating in major events as a testament to the advanced level achieved by the Olympic movement in the UAE. Mr. Al Mutawa emphasised the support and belief of wise leadership in the capabilities of the youth, their readiness to compete with elite athletes, and the champions’ determination to achieve their goals.
Mr. Al Mutawa expressed the committee’s commitment to supporting national sports talents, aligning with the strategic vision to empower athletes, and following the directives of Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the National Olympic Committee, in fostering continuous communication and support for athletes to enhance their performance and achieve optimal results for UAE sports.
Mr. Hamel Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Vice President of the UAE Winter Sports Federation, said that the UAE’s participation is an important milestone for future participation in the Winter Olympic Games in Cortina, Italy, 2026. It also supports the UAE’s participation files in the International Ski Federation and the International Olympic Committee.
The inaugural edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games was held in 2012 in Innsbruck. Austria. Lillehammer, Norway, hosted the second edition in 2016. The third edition was hosted by Lausanne, in Switzerland.