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Team Ireland confirms six athletes for Winter Olympics

The Games take place from 4-20 February in Beijing.

Team Ireland has officially selected the team that will compete in the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
Team Ireland has officially selected the team that will compete in the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
Image: David Fitzgerald/SPORTSFILE

TEAM IRELAND HAVE confirmed the six athletes who will compete at the Winter Olympics in Beijing, which run from 4-20 February. 

Four athletes return to the Games having represented Ireland at Pyeongchang 2018, with two first-time Olympians also making the trip to Beijing.

Tess Arbez will represent Ireland in Alpine Skiing. The Pyeongchang 2018 Olympian was born in Vetraz, Monthoux in France, with roots in Carlow and Dublin, and will compete in the Giant Slalom, Slalom and Super G events. 

Jack Gower will also compete in the Alpine Skiing Downhill, Giant Slalom, Super G and Alpine Combined events. This will be his first Olympic Games.

In Cross Country Skiing, Thomas Maloney Westgaard takes part in his second Games and is set to compete in the 15km, 30km and 50km events in Beijing. 

Cork-born Brendan ‘Bubba’ Newby is also heading to his second Games, and will compete in Freestyle Skiing.

Elsa Desmond will make history as the first Team Ireland athlete to compete in luge at a Winter Games.

Desmond, a qualified doctor, set up the Irish Luge Federation herself in order to compete for Ireland. Her paternal grandmother is from Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, and her grandfather is from Cork.    

Finally, Seamus O’Connor will represent Ireland in Snowboard Halfpipe, and in doing so will become the first Team Ireland Winter Olympian to compete in three Winter Games. The 24-year-old previously competed at both Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018.

“It’s an incredible honour to be heading into my third Olympic Games,” O’Connor said.

“I was the flagbearer for the last Games, and that was one of the most memorable moments in my life. I feel privileged to be able to compete in Beijing, and am really looking forward to getting to spending time with my teammates, and to what the next few weeks will bring.” 

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The Team Ireland athletes are currently at a pre-games camp in Innsbruck, Austria, where they are training from their base in Mutters. 

This will be Team Ireland’s eighth involvement at a Winter Olympics, and brings the total number of Irish Winter Olympians to 33.   

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