A Ski Racer from Kenya and Her Olympic Dream
New Joy Video Featuring Sabrina Simader
At the age of three, Sabrina Simader moved from Kenya to Upper Austria, and her first contact with snow and the cold weather was not a good one. On her first ski day, she lost her gloves and she could not imagine falling in love with this unfamiliar environment. Now, skiing, snow, and winter is a big part of her life and she wants to spend as much time as possible in the mountains.
It was the love and passion for skiing of her stepfather Josef that made Sabrina join the local ski club in Hansberg where she started ski racing. He was her first coach and her serviceman, who tuned her skis in his cellar for endless hours. In her first competitions, she came in third and was disappointed. She wanted to win, but her stepfather always told her that “the love’ for skiing is more important than winning.
With this feeling in the back of her mind, combined with her hard training, she won her first club title which ignited her new career as a ski racer. The family moved to Haus im Ennstal, where she attended the Skihauptschule Schladming and she became an impressive triple winner at the Styrian championships and started in FIS races.
This season, Sabrina already competed at her first World Cup race in Maribor and at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in St.Moritz. Her biggest dream is to become the first ever skier from Kenya to compete in the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. “Taking part is not enough, I want to ski fast and finish in good position,“ said Simader.
Although it was not always easy, she keeps fighting and nearing her ultimate dream. Simader said, “(Kenya) is where my roots are and where I have a lot of supporters. I want to make them proud and I want to show that almost everything is possible when you work hard and follow your dreams. It is such a great feeling to inspire others! But to reach a big goal like this you need a strong team behind you. I have my coach and serviceman Christian, my mother, and of course the best and fastest ski company on the planet: Head.”
The 19-year-old loves ski racing. She loves getting up early, warming up with yoga exercises and then get out into the cold and dark mornings. The best conditions for training are when it’s quiet on the mountain and she can focus on her goals.
The feeling on race day is the best for her. Everything starts with a pleasant anticipation and she gets a little excited before entering the start gate. When she hears the beeps of the start interval, her body fills with adrenaline and she can be all by herself with no distractions. Pushing out of the start, getting faster from gate to gate, putting pressure into every turn and then crossing the finish line is a feeling beyond words, full of energy.
But as her stepfather already told her, there is more to skiing than just racing. Whenever she feels exhausted or stressed she takes her fun skis and can enjoy herself without any pressure. No timing, no goals, no gates, no work – just the pleasure of spending time in the mountains and outdoors. She loves playing with the different snow conditions and feeling the lightness, control, and balance of the ski when skiing off-piste. Whether its in deep powder or carving first runs in untouched, freshly groomed slopes, for Sabrina it’s pure freedom.