14th February 2019: It was disappointment for Matt Ryan at the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina today, with a disqualification in the second run of the Giant Slalom. The sixteen year old who impressed in the Slalom earlier this week, finishing 25th, was in action on the final day of racing for Team Ireland at this event. The competition runs from the 9-16 February in the Olympic host city Sarajevo and East Sarajevo.
At the halfway mark in the Giant Slalom, Ryan was lying in 51st place, determined to improve his standings with a good second run. Unfortunately, his hopes were dashed in the closing metres, when he fell on the second last gate.
Speaking after the race, Ryan said, “I’d not my best first run, so I was running a little bit later down, and then I came down and fell on my second last gate here, but it’s alright.”
Conditions were less than ideal on the course in Jahorina, which was the venue for the 1984 Winter Olympic Games, “The top is a little bit foggy, you couldn’t see maybe two gates in front of you, but once you got down after the top section it’s a little bit clear you can see the whole course. It wasn’t too bad.”
While this was the final race for Team Ireland at the EYOF, the Massachusetts skier has already switched his focus to the next competition on his busy schedule, “I’m actually headed out to Alaska in three days so that should be great – I have a race series out there and I’ll be back in New Hampshire for a race series there and training.”
Like teammate Elle Murphy, Ryan balances an intense training and competition schedule with his studies, “I have school from 7.30 to 12 every day and ski from 12.30 until 4 O’Clock, or maybe 3.30, so it’s good.”
Today brings to a close what has been a good week of performances for Ireland’s small two person team at the EYOF, which is a biennial multi-sport event for youth athletes across the 50 European member countries of the European Olympic Committees and is a key stepping stone for athletes on their Olympic journey. Eight sports are on the programme for the EYOF, which used the slogan “together we create the future”.
The next competition on the 2019 programme for Team Ireland is the European Games, which is held in Minsk, Belarus from the 21st – 30th June 2019.
Results Boy’s Giant Slalom:
Gold Andreas Soensterud (NOR) 2:09:95
Silver Nikita Kazazaev (RUS) +0.07
Bronze Pablo Banfi (FRA) +0.28
DSQ Matt Ryan (IRL)
FRIDAY 15th February