GANGWON, South Korea—Laetaz Amihan Rabe of the Philippines has adapted to the slopes of the Welli Hilli Park Ski Resort in Hoengseong and is ready for action in women’s slopestyle of free skiing of the Fourth Winter Youth Olympics set on Wednesday, January 24, 2024.
She’s the second of three Filipinos who qualified here with short-track speed skater Peter Joseph Groseclose scheduled to compete in the 500m, his last of three events, late afternoon Monday.
“I felt nervous but since I already arrived here [Friday], I started to feel calm now as I see the other athletes and they seem quite nice and relaxed,” said Rabe, the country’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony last Friday. “I have already seen the park and it’s not as bad as I thought.”
Rabe is a 14-year-old daughter of Ric from Cotabato City and Aileen from Malolos who are now residents of Switzerland.
She suffered minor bruises on her jawline after crashing while training on Monday.
“It’s no big deal,” said Rabe, who will compete in the big air on Sunday.
“I’m so honored and humbled to represent the Philippines while facing my biggest challenge at hand,” said Rabe, who met Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino and secretary-general Atty. Wharton Chan during the opening ceremony.
“He’s very friendly,” she said of Tolentino. “I’m thankful and proud that I finally met him.”
Rabe is coached by her dad Ric, who introduced her to skiing when she was only two years old. She was named to the 2023 Geneva Snow Sports Athletes and won her first race in the Glacier 3000 in 2019 and Grimentz a year later in Switzerland.
The 11th gracer at Cycle d’orientation du renard in Geneva made it to the Youth Olympics through her accumulated International Ski Federation points from 2019 to 2023.
She also competes for Geneva and is No. 2 in the West Switzerland region and sixth overall in the Swiss National Ranking for women’s under-15 in the previous season. PR