Six Irish athletes will represent Ireland in Beijing 2022
Team Ireland has officially named the team that will compete in the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing in just over ten days. Six athletes have been named and they will compete throughout the Games which will run from the 4 – 20 February. This will be the eighth Winter Olympic Games for Team Ireland over thirty years and brings the total number of Irish Winter Olympians to thirty-three.
Beijing 2022 will see four of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympians return, and they will be joined by two first time Olympians. This will be the fourth time that Ireland will field a six person team in the Winter Olympics, in a year of firsts. For the first time we will have a three-time Winter Olympian compete, the first time Team Ireland will compete in luge, and also the first time that the Winter Olympians attend a pre-games training camp.
With roots in Carlow and Dublin, the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympian is set to compete in the Giant Slalom, Slalom and Super G events in Beijing. She was born in Vetraz, Monthoux in France, near the Swiss border, and currently studies biomedical studies in Geneva.
Gower’s paternal grandmother was born in Dublin and settled in Skibbereen and is competing in his first Olympic Games. The former Junior World Champion for GB is set to compete in the Downhill, Giant Slalom, Super G and Alpine Combined events.
Thomas Maloney Westgaard
Heading into his second Olympic Games, Westgaard is competing in the 15km, 30km and 50km events in Beijing. With a Galway mother and Norwegian father, he is a well respected consistent athlete on the world circuit in Cross Country Skiing, training up to five hours or 58km in once session.
Brendan ‘Bubba’ Newby
Cork born Brendan Newby, is better known as Bubba. He competed in the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics, fulfilling a childhood dream he had since first watching the Olympics in Salt Lake City as a child. He will now be competing in Beijing as an even better skier, pulling his first ‘double’ in Austria in November.
This will be the first time that Ireland will have a luge athlete in the Olympics, thanks to the talent and drive of Desmond, who set up the Irish Luge Federation herself in order to compete for Ireland. The qualified medical doctor was targeting Milan 2026 primarily, and a strong showing in the latter part of the season helped secure her name in history as Ireland’s first luge athlete. Her paternal grandmother is from Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, and her grandfather is from Cork.
Beijing 2022 will see O’Connor become the first Team Ireland Winter Olympian to compete in three Winter Olympic Games. He previously competed in both Sochi 2014, Pyeongchang 2018, and at 24 is already a veteran of the sport. His paternal grandparents are from Drogheda and Dublin, and he lives in Utah, USA.
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