Running Slaloms on ’Em: Kenyan Skier Sabrina Simader Makes It to 1st Winter Games

Sabrina Simader of Kenya looks on after the Women’s Super G during the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships on Feb. 7, 2017, in St. Moritz, Switzerland. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Although the Winter Olympics used to be a lily-white affair, or what The Root Senior Editor Stephen A. Crockett called “the privileged Olympics,” slowly but surely, the blacks are coming to eat. And black women are looking to dominate.


In addition to a nice Nigerian bobsled team, not one, but two black women qualified for the U.S. speedskating team this year.

And now Kenya has qualified its first Olympic Alpine skier.

Sabrina Wanjiku Simader, who was born in Kenya but reportedly raised in Austria, will fill Kenya’s single Alpine-skiing quota spot come February.

The 19-year-old said that she has the best of both worlds.

“My roots are Kenyan, but I have the Austrian mentality,” Simader said to Reuters. “I didn’t live there, but I’m very proud of my Kenyan roots. I’m looking forward to representing Kenya enormously. The Olympics have been my dream since I was small.”


The East African country has always dominated track and field in the Summer Olympics, especially in the long distances, but Simader will be only the second Kenyan ever to make it to the Winter Olympics.

The first Kenyan Winter Olympian was cross-country skier Philip Boit, who first competed in the 1998 Games. He will accompany Simader to Pyeongchang, South Korea, to represent the nation where it all began.

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Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.