Delight as Arabella Ng confirmed as Hong Kong’s sole Olympian at Pyeongchang Winter Games
The 16-year-old will compete in the slalom and the giant slalom events at the February 9-25 extravaganza
Hong Kong Olympic officials were able to breathe a sigh of relief on Monday night when, as expected, Arabella Ng was confirmed to have qualified to represent the city at the Winter Games in South Korea.
Perhaps the only surprise was Ng will compete in both the slalom and the giant slalom disciplines of Alpine skiing next month.
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.”
The 16-year-old Ng 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 a place in Pyeongchang via the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s ‘B standard’.
Her qualification for the giant slalom event was in doubt 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 FIS (International Ski Federation) indicated Ng was in for 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,” Tim 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 was on ensuring the youngster 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 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 against 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.
Meanwhile, Tim Ng and the rest of the family are preparing to enjoy the Olympic experience.
“We’ll take in one or two other events and ski the hill a little bit as it is open to the public. It’s all part of the experience,” he said.
“There will be a few of us going over: myself, my wife, my son is going to come up from college. My sister and her partner are going to be in Hong Kong, too. It will be a family affair.”