Ashley Ogonga, a Kenyan cross-country skier, has made history by becoming the first ever African female to qualify for the Olympic Games in skiing. She secured her spot in the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games, which will take place in Gangwon, South Korea from January 19 to February 1. This news was announced by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya on December 19.
Ogonga’s qualification was based on the International Ski Federation (FSI) rankings that were released on December 18. She has achieved remarkable success in national and regional championships, making her a standout athlete in her sport. Ogonga is currently based in the Ingeborg Bachmann International Ski College in Italy.
Earlier this year, Ogonga attended a 14-day training camp in South Korea along with Issa Laborde. Their participation in this camp was part of their preparation for the upcoming Winter Youth Olympics. Upon hearing the news of Ogonga’s qualification, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba expressed his joy and congratulated her on her historic achievement.
Ogonga follows in the footsteps of Phillip Boit, who represented Kenya in cross-country skiing in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan. Additionally, Sabrina Wanjiku, Kenya’s alpine skier, has also been a strong representative of the nation in various skiing competitions around the world.
Overall, Ogonga’s qualification for the Olympic Games marks a significant milestone for both her and African female skiers. It is a testament to her talent, dedication, and hard work in pursuing her passion for cross-country skiing.