Swiss Olympic sets target of 15 medals in Beijing
A total of 168 athletes will represent Switzerland at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing next month. Of these, 26 have already won an Olympic medal, while 93 are taking part in their first Games.
The goal of Swiss Olympic is to equal the 15 medals won in Pyeongchang, South Korea, four years ago, it said in a statementExternal link on Monday.
The last Olympic participants to be nominated by the Swiss umbrella organisation are the alpine skiers and the ski crossers, as well as individual athletes from other sports. In all, 93 men and 75 womenExternal link will embark on the journey to Beijing, where the Winter Games will be held from February 4-20.
The 22-strong ski team is led by six-time season winner Marco Odermatt, the leader in the overall World Cup. He is the biggest trump in a powerful team that has realistic hopes of winning medals in 11 disciplines. The other big skiing hopes are Beat Feuz, Lara Gut-Behrami, Corinne Suter, Wendy Holdener and Michelle Gisin.
The 42-year-old curler Silvana Tirinzoni is the oldest athlete in the Swiss team, with the youngest being 17-year-old ice hockey player Alina Marti. Ski jumper and four-time Olympic champion Simon Ammann, 40, is competing in his seventh Olympic Games.
While the United States and many of its allies, including Britain, Canada, Australia, Japan and Denmark, have said they will not send official diplomatic delegations to the Games in protest at China’s human rights record, the Swiss government has said that in principle one of them will travel with the Swiss delegation to represent the country. A definitive decision is still to be taken.
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