12th February 2019: Team Ireland’s Matt Ryan has finished 25th out of 104 starters in the Slalom today at the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Bosnia and Herzegovina today. Ryan is part of the two person team competing this week, alongside Elle Murphy who finished 40th in the Slalom yesterday. The competition runs from the 9-16 February in the Olympic host city Sarajevo and East Sarajevo.
Pleased with his performance, 16 year old Ryan was the sixth starter in the second run following a strong opener. In the slalom the winner is the skier who competes two rounds in the fastest time, the top thirty in the first run start in reverse order for the second round. A 25th place finish in the morning for the Irish first year junior ensured a favourable starting position for the afternoon session;
“Today was great. When we got here this morning the lifts weren’t open for an hour, so there was a little delay on the course. We got our first inspection, and on our first run I went really well. I was in the top thirty, so I was happy about that. So I went sixth on the second run. I came down had a good time, and I finished in the mid-twenties, so that’s a really good day. I’m really happy.”
Born to Irish parents, the Massachusetts teenager began skiing as a toddler and quickly progressed;
“I ski in the US, in New Hampshire. I started when I was maybe three or four. We would travel up to New Hampshire every weekend and ski, and then I continued to race on the weekends every winter. Then this year I switched to full time at an academy in New Hampshire.
“My parents both moved to the states in 1994 and we’ve been there since. They grew up in Ireland, and my grandfather was on the Irish soccer team, so I have a little bit of history in the Irish sports!
“I ski every day of the winter – it’s awesome. We actually travel in the summer too, so I was in Italy this summer and in Oregan in the United States.”
On Thursday Ryan switches his focus to the Giant Slalom,
“The Giant Slalom has bigger turns, bigger skis as well, and it’s a little longer course as well. It’s more speed so it’s fun! My favourite between the two would probably be the slalom. This is my favourite event.”
Tomorrow Elle Murphy is back in action, competing in the Giant Slalom.
The EYOF 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 uses the slogan “together we create the future”.
Results Men’s Slalom:
Gold Joshua Sturm (AUT) 1:52:05
Silver Manuel Ploner (ITA) +1.34
Bronze Lukas Feurstein (AUT) +1.37
25th Matthew Ryan (IRL) +6.90
WEDNESDAY 13th February
10am Elle Murphy – Giant Slalom
THURSDAY 14th February
10am Matt Ryan – Giant Slalom
SATURDAY 16th February