Hong Kong will be represented at the Winter Olympics next month, after Arabella Ng was confirmed to have qualified to represent the city. at the Winter Games in South Korea.
The 16-year-old will compete in both the slalom and the giant slalom disciplines of Alpine skiing next month in Pyeongchang.
Her father, Tim Ng, spoke of his pride when he received the news that his daughter would be Hong Kong’s sole representative at this year’s Games.
“I’m looking forward to South Korea, I think it’s going to be great,” he said in a telephone interview from his home in Canada. “I’m a very proud dad.”
Arabella was thought to have done enough to qualify for the slalom event after calculations indicated her performances in this, her rookie season, would be enough to secure her a place in the Winter Games via the IOC’s “B standard”.
Her qualification for the giant slalom event was more of a surprise as she had not completed enough official runs in her first year on the senior circuit to qualify automatically. However, after the January 22 deadline passed, the International Ski Federation (FIS) indicated that Arabella would take part in both events.
“Like anything, until you get official confirmation you never know for sure but it certainly seemed, from my understanding, that we would be OK,” Ng said.
After securing qualification, attention now turns to final preparations ahead of the Games’ Opening Ceremony on February 9.
Secretary general of the Ski Association of Hong Kong Samson Siu said his main focus now is on ensuring the teen, who studies and competes in the Unites States, has everything she needs to compete at her best in South Korea.
“We have to take good care to make sure she competes in the best possible conditions out in Pyeongchang,” Siu said.
Realistically, little will be expected of the youngster given her relative lack of elite-level experience, but city ski officials want to ensure she learns from competing with the world’s best in South Korea.
“We want to make sure she gains as much experience as possible from being there,” Siu said.
“She’ll be wearing the Hong Kong Olympic uniform. It’s white and it’s very pretty. The Olympic Committee already had that prepared,” he added.