Fascinating games

Skier Kennedy-Sim is part of the Games’ third team

Suffering from a stroke in her mid-twenties, skier Sami Kennedy-Sim looked unlikely to make it to the Winter Olympics but will line up for her third in Beijing next month.

Now 33, Kennedy-Sim will represent Australia in ski cross, while Abi Harrigan, 19, was also named on Saturday to make her Games debut in the freeski halfpipe, slopestyle and big air events. .

They join skeleton and luge racers Jackie Narracott, Nick Timmings and Alex Ferlazzo, while athletes from five other winter disciplines will be announced on Sunday.

Currently competing in the Ski Cross World Cup in Idre Fjall, Sweden, where she qualified sixth for the final, Kennedy-Sim was thrilled to be on her third Olympic team.

“I am so proud to have been selected to represent Australia at my third Games,” she said.

“Having the Olympics in a similar time zone to Australia means I will feel connected with my friends and family – ski cross is broadcast in prime time so I can’t wait to share this experience with everyone, I’m so excited.”

Kennedy-Sim’s world was turned upside down nine months after the 2014 Sochi Olympics when she suffered a stroke, caused by a blood clot in her leg and a small hole in her heart, which then necessitated a surgical intervention.

But the Sydney athlete said the setbacks made her who she was.

“I’ve made this full recovery, and it’s shaped me now to be incredibly resilient,” she said.

The teenager Harrigan will become Australia’s first representative in the big air, which is a new addition to the Olympic calendar.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be selected for the Beijing 2022 squad, just super excited,” Harrigan said.

“It’s the first time big air has been in the Olympics and I can compete, it’s amazing. I’m so excited to be on the biggest stage.”

Raised in Jindabyne at the foot of the NSW snowfields, Harrigan earned her best result of the season at last week’s World Cup in Font Romeu, France, finishing 13th in slopestyle.