South Africa Sends 2 Athletes to Winter Youth Olympics in Switzerland

Team South Africa has two athletes competing at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics which are being held in Lausanne, Switzerland, until 22 January.

Thabo Rateleki team south africa winter youth olympics
Photo: Team South Africa
south african youth winter games
KUHTAI, AUSTRIA – JANUARY 19: Johanna Elisabeth Sternat of Austria competes in the Ladies Snowboard Slopestyle during the Winter Youth Olympic Games on January 19, 2012 in Kuhtai, Austria. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

In making the announcement, governing body SASCOC named Thabo Rateleki and Hanle van der Merwe to compete in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events.

They will be accompanied by their coaches, Alex Heath and Khaliswa Hastaga and the Chef de Mission, Jabu Malindi.

Rateleki will be the flag bearer for these Games and boasts a number of achievements in Alpine Skiing competitions at national level.

Thabo Rateleki
Thabo Rateleki will be representing South Africa at the Winter Youth Olympics! Photo: FB / Thabo Rateleki

Thabo Rateleki

In 2018 he won a gold medal in the Slalom discipline at the National Championships.

In 2019 he also placed second in the Giant Slalom discipline, while third places in Slalom at the 2019 National Championships and National Junior Championships respectively qualifying him for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Van der Merwe has participated in various International Ski Federation Championships, National Junior and Senior Championships where she produced excellent performances and placed in the top three positions.

In 2019 she won three bronze medals in the Giant Slalom and Slalom events qualifying her for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.

In announcing the team, SASCOC Acting CEO Ravi Govender said: ’We congratulate our two athletes who have qualified for the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games and have already arrived in Switzerland to prepare for the opening ceremony.

‘Although African nations are not regular participants in Winter Olympic Games mainly due to geographical reasons with very little snow of competition quality experienced on the continent, we are proud that South Africa will have representation at these Games.

‘On behalf of SASCOC, we wish the team well and urge them to give it their all and be good ambassadors of South Africa, he added.’

The Acting President of SASCOC, Barry Hendricks, also conveyed his well wishes to the team. ‘We wish our athletes and coaches the very best. This event is also a leadership learning experience, we look forward to the athletes sharing their experiences in South Africa with their friends and federation.’