Every four years, most of the World population gathers around the TV screen to follow one of the oldest sporting events ever organised. The 24th Edition of the Winter Olympic Games will start on the 4th of February in Beijing and, it will take part between the Chinese capital, the Yanquing Province and the city of Zhangjiakou. Compared to the previous Korean Games in 2018, ninety-one nations will compete for hundred-nine medals in fifteen different sports disciplines. Many athletes will wear Level products when taking the slopes of the Winter Olympics. Between them, four athletes have recounted their previous experiences and their goals for this upcoming edition.
Ragnhild Mowinckel, Silvia Bertagna, Ester Ledecka and, Valerie Grenier share the same passion for the sport, the excellence in their own fields and, a past experience at the Winter Games. These women, coming from Norway, Italy, the Czech Republic and, Canada, competed in Sochi and Pyeongchang and today are ready to fly to Beijing. “It’s the biggest event that we can join”, says the Norwegian skier Ragnhild Mowinckel, “it’s a big deal and, obviously, you are very proud to represent your country”. Mowinckel was at her first experience in Sochi in 2014 and didn’t manage to get on the podium, but won two silver medals in Giant Slalom and Downhill in Pyeongchang in 2018. “It took some time to digest the good results achieved in Korea”, Mowinckel adds, “in Sochi, it was about the learning experience, while in Korea I was at the peak of my athletic preparation and with a different mentality”.
The Italian friskier Silvia Bertagna was also among the sportspersons who took part in the 2014 Olympic Games but had to withdraw from the last edition. “This is the competition that I prepared the most in the last four years”, Silvia Bertagna explains, “when I first arrived in Sochi everything was new to me, but now it’s different”. The Italian athlete is ready to fly to China with “a clear mind and my eyes on the podium in the Big Air”.
Ester Ledecka, a twenty-six-year-old from the Czech Republic, knows very well the feeling of standing on the highest step of the Olympic podium. She won twice in Pyeongchang with a gold medal in Ski Giant Slalom and the first position in the Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom, the first woman in Olympic history to win two gold medals in two different disciplines at the same Games. “The best memory is when my mother arrived in Korea before the races”, Ester Ledecka says in a long phone call, “then what happened later can’t be described with words”. As in the previous edition, the Czech athlete will compete both on ski and snowboard. When asked if the pressure of racing in different disciplines is higher, Ledecka replies as a strong professional contender. “I have more chances than others”, she says laughing, “being under pressure is part of the game, it doesn’t matter how many times you come down the slopes”.
Valerie Grenier, a young Canadian skier, took part too in the 2018 Olympics. At her first experience, she didn’t manage to finish on the podium. “It was a very funny moment and also was my first time at this competition”, Valerie Grenier explains, “having finished sixth on the Combined was a big surprise for me and I’m still very proud of the way I skied”. The twenty-five-year-old Canadian put a lot of preparation for this edition and will go to Beijing with good results in the current season. “It’s hard to say what to expect”, Grenier adds, “I’m definitely shooting for a medal, but if it doesn’t happen, it’s not going to be the end of the World”. Grenier, Mowinckel, Bertagna and Ledecka are all ready to fly to China and come back with good memories and, possibly, a few medals around their neck.
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