West­gaard finds the go­ing tough in biathlon

Irish Examiner - Sport - - WINTER OLYMPICS/HOCKEY -

Ire­land’s Thomas West­gaard de­scribed his Win­ter Olympic de­but as one of the “most gru­elling ex­pe­ri­ences” of his life.

West­gaard fin­ished 60th in the gru­el­ing 30km biathlon event in Pyeongchang yes­ter­day morn­ing.

He said: “I’m ex­tremely proud to get my Olympic de­but for Ire­land. It’s a big hon­our. I dreamed about this since I was 10 so this was a big day for me,” said the Nor­we­gian born Ir­ish cross-skier whose mother hails from Dun­more in Gal­way.

“The last 10k was like noth­ing I’ve ever ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore, it was just hor­ren­dous,” he said.

“But when you are able to fin­ish in the Olympic spirit you just have to be proud. It was re­ally windy so it was so im­por­tant to be in a group to block the wind and un­for­tu­nately I wasn’t able to be in group for the last 15km so I had to strug­gle.

“In that third lap I just gave it ev­ery­thing. I was see­ing stars. It was one of the most gru­elling ex­pe­ri­ences I ever had.”

Ear­lier Clare skier Pa­trick Mcmil­lan saw his Win­ter Olympics de­but put on hold af­ter winds of up to 45mph forced the or­gan­is­ers to post­pone the men’s Down­hill.

It has been resched­uled to Thurs­day and, as a re­sult, the men’s Su­per-g – which is Mcmil­lan’s other event – has been moved to Fri­day which means he will now be rac­ing on con­sec­u­tive days.

But the Kil­laloe man was not per­turbed, say­ing: “This is very nor­mal. Ski­ing’s an out­door sport and, in Down­hill we of­ten have to wait for the weather. “I’m ac­tu­ally happy be­cause I’ve had three days of very good train­ing on the course and now I can get a day’s rest.”

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