According to Olympic Channel, a host of young athletes from countries without a winter sports background will be taking part as 12 nations make their Winter Youth Olympic Games debut. Haiti, Qatar, Ecuador, Pakistan, and Thailand are among the 12 nations making their debut appearance at a Winter YOG.
Haiti has never had an athlete at the Winter Olympics or Winter Youth Olympics. Until now. Haiti will make its debut at Lausanne 2020 after 17-year-old Alpine skier Mackenson Florindo qualified to compete at the event. Exactly 10 years and one day after the earthquake which ravaged the Caribbean island, Mackenson Florindo will make history by competing in the alpine skiing giant slalom in Les Diablerets which begins with the opening ceremony on Thursday (January 9).
Haitian Ski Federation President Jean-Pierre Roy, who has taken part at five Alpine Ski World Championships, said the expectations on Florindo were low but believes competing at the Games will be beneficial to his career and great exposure for Haiti.
The country’s ski federation, which was also formed 10 years ago, said in a Facebook post, “Sure, we won’t be on the podium but it’s just the beginning, our young people are progressing every day! We will pass the mountains.
“Ten years after the beginning of the incredible story, it will be the second breath of a fabulous human adventure for Haiti following the terrible earthquake of January 12, 2010.” Florindo is his nation’s sole representative and will carry the flag in the Opening Ceremony.