Chilean skier Noelle Barahona became one of the latest victims of the treacherous Rosa Khutor downhill ski course at the Winter Olympics in Sochi after she took a nasty tumble today.
The twenty-three-year old, who is participating in her third straight Olympics, claimed that she lost her balance while descending in the first of the two events that make up the Super Combined.
“I have an ugly bruise on my leg but I don’t think anything serious happened,” said Barahona to the press after her fall. She also admitted that she was “not 100% prepared for the downhill” due to an apparent bout of food poisoning the night before the event. Nevertheless, she was eager to continue participating in other skiing disciplines.
“I’ve been feeling very comfortable and quick on the Super-G and Giant (slaloms) and I think that I can get the results I want,” Barahona observed.
Despite the tumble on Monday, she gave a “huuuuge thank you” to all of her supporters via a message on her Instagram account.
“I'm a little sad cause I wanted to enjoy the whole DH. However, getting the opportunity to race in front of you all was unbelievable. Still 4 more races to go, a lot of opportunity to ski the way I know. Next up is Downhill on the 12th!” Barahona wrote along with a photo of her in the starting gate prior to her decent.
While Barahona and seventeen other women did not complete the Super Combined, Macarena Simari Birkner of Argentina enjoyed a twentieth place finish in the event.
“I am very happy. I wanted to finish among the top twenty and I ended exactly in twentieth place,” said the athlete from Bariloche who wore a unique polka-dot speed suit while skiing.
Several of the thirty-two athletes from Latin American countries attending the Winter Games also competed in their respective events over the weekend.
Barahona’s compatriot, Henrik Von Appen, obtained 41st place in the men’s downhill while Jaqueline Mourao finished the women’s 7.5 KM biathlon in the 77th position.
A Latin American athlete has never won a Winter Olympics medal yet two there is an outside chance that could change on Tuesday in the women’s ski slopestyle. Chilean Dominique Ohaco is ranked seventh in the world rankings while Julia Marino will be looking to make an impact as Paraguay’s first ever Winter Olympian:
Adopted by an American family when she was just six months old, Marino did not return to her roots until November 2013.
Yet the 21-year-old, who speaks little Spanish, insists she feels proudly Paraguayan and is delighted to be making history for the South American country, despite having competed under the Stars and Stripes banner until last year...
"My (adoptive) parents never hid that I was born in Paraguay and always incorporated Paraguay culture into my lifestyle. I thank them for that.
"Paraguay represents my home. Back in November when I visited for the first time since I was six months old, I really felt a special connection. I cannot wait to visit after the Olympics and learn more about my country."Update: Ohaco obtained the thirteenth position in women’s ski slopestyle while Marino finished four places behind her.
After the event, Marino admitted to the press that she was disappointed in her seventeenth place finish but also noted that it was a "marvelous experience" to be the first Paraguayan Winter Olympian.
Video Source– TV Publica Argentina via YouTube
Online Sources including Update – Clarin; GlobalPost; Terra Chile; Instagram; SFGate.com; Sochi 2014 Olympics; Diario ABC Color