Irish Alpine National Championships

In March of this year, the Snowsports Association of Ireland held its National Championships in Kronplatz, Italy. The race attracted a large entry of 137 athletes from forty nations. The women’s slalom race was won by France’s Annabel Jallat, Michal Jasiczek of Poland winning the men’s race. Honours in the Giant Slalom races were taken by Andrej Drukarov who won the men’s race while Switzerland’s Sarah Zoller came first in the ladies Giant Slalom. Ireland’s Éabha McKenna and Cormac Comerford were placed first in the best Irish racer category.

Mens Giant Slalom prize giving

Ladies GS Prize Giving

GS Prize Giving

Youth Multi-Sport Event Comes To A Close



29 January 2023 Team Ireland’s Ethan Bouchard and Eábha McKenna completed their final event on the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) schedule yesterday, competing well in the Super-G. Both competitions took place on Monte Lussari, just outside Tarvisio, on the same piste as the other Alpine races earlier this week. The EYOF is a multi-sport event that is modelled on a senior Olympic Games, and that serves as a valuable learning experience for athletes ahead of future competitions.

Speaking after the competition, Team Ireland Chef de Mission for the EYOF Friuli Venezia Giulia, and Performance Manager in the Olympic Federation of Ireland was pleased with how the athletes handled themselves all week highlighting the relevance of events like this to the development of young athletes,

“The week has been a real success for both athletes. In terms of progression, this is the first time that they have experienced a multi-sport event and a high-performance structure with us in the NOC (National Olympic Committee), and that’s hugely important. We get to teach them how to behave and keep true to their own performance in this kind of setting which has a focus on celebration. They will never have experienced anything like this.  It is all an added pressure it will stand to them as they continue their pathway through more senior events.

“Eábha is young, she’s one of the youngest athletes competing here, and she has had very little experience on the senior FIS circuit. She’s been really consistent in her performance. In fact this week, she has lowered her FIS points in both her slalom and GS. She will go away having learned a huge amount and bring confidence into the rest of the season. Ethan has been really clear all week that speed is what he wanted to do, and he definitely showed it today. For him to finish just three seconds off the Super-G winner after having that disappointment, demonstrates a huge strength and potential for the future.”

Bouchard impressed in the Boy’s Super-G, finishing just 3:18 outside the winning time, and in 35th place overall with 1:06.93. The seventeen-year-old was disappointed with his Slalom and Giant Slalom races earlier in the week, so has happy to finish on a high,

“I struggled a bit earlier in the week, so I am glad to come down and finish in a good time in a super-fun course. I pulled some moves that I had never done before, like the pre-jump. But I thought starting back of the pack, having had a difficult week, I’d go for it.”

McKenna was competing in the Super-G for the first time at this level. The event, which is based on speed over technical ability, was a good debut, netting a time of 1:12.65 and 47th place for one of the youngest athletes in the field. The Wicklow skier enjoyed the whole experience saying,

“It was going well and I gave myself a bit too much space at the gates. Then the jump came and I opened up and caught lots of air there. It was a lot of fun, even though I did mess up the jump! It’s been amazing here, the atmosphere is just really good. It’s really cool I got to be here and I’m happy with my results.”

The Closing Ceremony also took place last night, athletes from right across the Games gathered in the ice hockey arena in Udine for a night of celebration and where the EYOF flag was handed over to Georgia who will host the next edition of the winter EYOF in 2025.



Ethan Bouchard – Boy’s Super-G – 35th with 1:06.93 (+3.88)

Eábha McKenna – Girl’s Super) G – 47th with 1:12.65 (+7.33)

This concludes the first of four events for Team Ireland this year, with the focus for the Olympic Federation of Ireland now switching to the European Games in Krakow this June, followed by the summer EYOF and the World Beach Games later this year.

For more information please contact:

Olympic Federation of Ireland Communications Manager

Heather Boyle,,

+353 87 337 1954

About the EYOF

The EYOF is a multi-sport event aimed at athletes aged 14-18 years of age, that is held every two years and is run by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) under the patronage of the IOC. Originally known as the European Youth Olympic Days, the event has been running since 1993, with the summer edition occurring since 1991.


The events will be streamed by the EOC on and as well as the Team Ireland channels, and daily releases, the event social media handles are:

Twitter with hashtag: #EYOF2023




Photography will be available FOC via Sportsfile, photographer Eóin Noonan.


Wicklow born Eábha McKenna moved with her family from Clara Vale, Rathdrum to Switzerland in 2011. She currently lives in a small town of Beckenried, near Lucerne, competing for local ski club, Ski Club Beckenried Klewenalp (SCBK). The sixteen-year-old began competing as an under-10 athlete and has been working with the Snowsports Association of Ireland throughout her youth career.


United States-based Ethan Bouchard attends Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine, which is close to his home mountain, Sunday River. The seventeen-year-old began skiing as a three-year-old and has been competing for the past nine years. Bouchard joins a rich history of Team Ireland athletes with links to West Cork, with a large family of cousins living in Skibbereen. Before moving to the US, both his great-grandparents lived in Bantry and Skibbereen.

Personal Best Performance For McKenna At EYOF



26 January 2023 Team Ireland’s Eábha McKenna returned to the slopes in Tarvisio, Italy to compete in the Girl’s Giant Slalom (GS) event today at the European Youth Olympic Festival. The Wicklow teenager was competing in the Girl’s Giant Slalom where she finished 42nd with a time of 3:02.79. The sixteen-year-old rose to the occasion for the second day running and scored her highest-ever FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski) points.

Pleased with McKenna’s performance, Alpine Skiing Head Coach Giorgio Marchesini was surprised with the length of the course, which challenged the field of 87 athletes. The Irish skier scored 129.33 FIS points on a day where over twenty athletes were DNF.  FIS points are used to score athletes internationally, which helps with rankings and establishing start orders.

I’m happy because Eábha held both courses pretty well, she did well in terms of the technical aspect. A pretty good number of girls in the middle went down. Some found it difficult because it is unusual to have a GS that is so long. The 1:27.00 we saw this morning is something I’ve never seen before in a competition. Usually, a GS is between 1:05.00 and 1:15.00.”

The light made it difficult for the athletes between some of the gates, which was one of the aspects that Marchesini was working on with McKenna,

“We saw two or three points where it was difficult to see after the pitches, I was signaling to her to the gate. Before the race I made a POV, I went down the course and did a video and sent it to her so that she could repeat the run.”

Delighted with her personal best FIS points, McKenna stepped up again today to compete in the Girl’s Giant Slalom, a race that was longer than the competitions in which she ordinarily competes. Embracing the challenge, and pushing her limits, the sixteen-year-old commented,

“Giorgio told me to ski more dynamically because he knows I can ski a bit faster. I think I did better in the top section this time. The course was quite long, in previous competitions, we usually complete each run in under a minute but, today’s course was 30 seconds longer” 

The Olympic Federation of Ireland has two athletes competing in the multi-sport event that plays a key role in the pathway of athletes, providing valuable learning experiences for athletes in a high-performance setting. The EYOF is hosted by the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of Italy and runs from 21 – 28 January 2023.



Eábha McKenna – Girl’s Giant Slalom – 42nd Overall with 3:02.79 (+16.31) Run 1 (50th – 1:38.19 – +10.28)

Gold Ludovica Righi (ITA) 2:46.48

Silver Moa Landstroem (SWE) 2:46.75 (+0.27)

Bronze Nadine Hundegger (AUT) 2:46.84 (+0.36)

SCHEDULE FRIDAY 27th JANUARY 2023 (Irish time)

08:30 Ethan Bouchard – Boy’s Giant Slalom Run 1

11:30 Ethan Bouchard – Boy’s Giant Slalom Run 2

All events are live-streamed HERE and can be followed HERE.

Wicklow’s McKenna Steps Up In First Major Competition



25 January 2023 Despite being one of the youngest athletes competing in Alpine Skiing at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF), Wicklow’s Eábha McKenna stepped up in her first major competition, finishing 38th out of 88 starters in the Girl’s Slalom with 1:46.58. The Olympic Federation of Ireland has two athletes competing in the multi-sport event that plays a key role in the pathway of athletes, providing valuable learning experiences for athletes in a high-performance setting. The EYOF is hosted by the the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of Italy and run from the 21 – 28 January 2023.

Competing in today’s slalom event, McKenna had a solid first run, on a course with over 20 athletes marked as DNF. Determined to improve her ranking in the second run, the sixteen-year-old focused on a cleaner execution,

“It was more rutted than this morning so I knew if I kept the line and if I stayed on top I would be faster, and it worked out! I’m happy with that, these are the best in Europe, at the moment in my age group, and it’s one of the better races I’ve had. I’m glad I put down two solid runs. It’s quite a change competing here at this level, absolutely everyone here is trying to get into the World Cup eventually”

For the past five years McKenna has been working with Team Ireland head coach Giorgio Marchesini, who has been working with Irish development athletes since the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The Italian coach works on the Snow Sports Association of Ireland pathway programme, and highlights the importance of events like the EYOF for the development of young athletes,

“When they are young it is important to bring the athletes to competitions at the international level. At the EYOF, the race is the same as what they know, but the big difference is everything that surrounds it. It is more professional, there are TVs, interviews, and all the stuff the athletes meet when they go to big events like World Cups and Olympic Games.”

Marchesini emphasises the importance of creating a consistent high-performance environment for these athletes, saying,

“The path I take with the young athletes is very progressive, there is not much difference between what I said to Eábha today at the race, and what I say when we are in Andorra together. It is very important for us to start working with them when they are children. For instance, with Eábha she knows me well, she knows when it is time to talk, and when the moment is that we get more serious and concentrate. It is really important that this pathway is there for them, so they can propare to move into the senior races.”

McKenna will be in action again tomorrow, competing in the Giant Slalom.



Eábha McKenna –Girl’s Slalom – 38th overall with 1:46.58 (+13.75), (Run 1 52nd with 52.03)

Gold Leonie Raich (AUT) 1:32.83

Silver Laila Illig (GER) 1:33.72 (+0.89)

Bronze Moa Landstroem (SWE) 1:33.74 (+0.91)

SCHEDULE THURSDAY 26th JANUARY 2023 (Irish time)


09:00 Eábha McKenna (bib 64) – Girl’s Giant Slalom Run 1

12:15 Eábha McKenna – Girl’s Giant Slalom Run 2

All events are live streamed HERE, and can be followed HERE.

Team Ireland’s Bouchard Kicks Off Irish EYOF Campaign



24 January 2023 Ethan Bouchard kickstarted his Olympic journey today, at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Italy. Competing in the Boy’s Slalom, Bouchard finished in 74th place overall with a time of 2:00.70 after two runs. EYOF is a multi-sport youth event that takes place in Friuli Venezia Giulia region of Italy, from the 21-28 January.

Heavy snowfall in the north-eastern Italian region, meant a change to the schedule, with the athletes competing in the more technical slalom event as their first competition; they will also take part in Giant Slalom and Super-G this week. In his debut run, the 17-year-old Irish athlete embraced the opportunity to compete on this stage, saying,


“I was warming up and it didn’t really hit me until the start gate, ready to go, that oh, this is the biggest race of my life.” 

The first run saw Bouchard finish in 69th place with a time of 53.15, which was 8.24 seconds behind the leader. Going into the second run, the US born athlete with family in Skibbereen, knew that he would have to take some risks in order to  improve his position, which almost paid off.  The first half of the race was quick, but a fall in the last section impacted his overall time.

Speaking after the race, Bouchard said,

“Going into the second run, to compensate for my margin, I tried pushing my limits. I knew the risks going into that bottom section and where I was meant to be. I tried to push the limits a little too much. It ended up not going my way and I ended up falling and hiking up a few gates. I am looking forward to the GS (Giant Slalom) which is coming up next, and I hope I can do damage in that.”

Tomorrow will see Wicklow born Eábha McKenna opening her EYOF campaign in the Girl’s Slalom.



Ethan Bouchard –Boys Slalom – 74th overall with 2:00.70, (Run 1 69th with 53.15)

Gold Emile Baur (FRA) 1:32.08

Silver Gustav Wissting (SWE) 1:32.22 (+0.14)

Bronze Moritz Zudrell (AUT) 1:32.57 (+0.49)



09:30 Eábha McKenna – Girl’s Slalom Run 1

12:15 Eábha McKenna – Girl’s Slalom Run 2

This is the first of four events for Team Ireland this year, with Team Ireland also set to field athletes in the European Games in Krakow, Poland in June, the Summer EYOF in Maribor, Slovenia in July and in the World Beach Games in Bali in August.