Abigail Vieira will create history when she competes for Trinidad and Tobago at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, between January 9 and 22.
Based in Massachusetts, United States, Vieira has Trinidad and Tobago parents, which allows her to represent the country.
She was revealed as T&T’s first alpine skier at the T&T Olympic House in Port-of-Spain, on Monday, with T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis expressing delight that the country would be entering a new area of sporting activity at the event.
While the 17-year-old Vieira may not be one of the favourites to take the global event by storm, she said she will not be going to the Swiss capital merely to make up numbers either.
“For my expectations, I’m not going there to just ski for fun. I want to be there. I want to work hard. I want to be proud of the results that I get and that may not be first second or third but if it’s something that I’m proud of and I’m building on the skills that I have then that’s good for me,” Vieira told the media.
Having competed in the United States, Vieira said competitions like these provide a great opportunity for not only networking but also for her to fly the T&T flag among a global audience of competitors.
She said, “It’s really funny when people come up to you and ask where are you from but honestly coming from a place that is not seen on a start list frequently, it’s just a time for people to come up to you and engage in conversations.”
Vieira said she has been training rigorously to get the best possible result in Switzerland.
“Every day of the week, we’ll go out and ski for two or three hours. During the off-season, we’ll go to places like Chile, Norway places with snow and we’ll go training there. It’s not something that you can spend one hour doing, it’s pretty much a full investment,” she said.