TEAM IRELAND’S BOUCHARD KICKS OFF IRISH EYOF CAMPAIGN
HEAVY SNOWFALL CONTINUES ON SLALOM DAY IN FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA
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.
RESULTS DAY 1:
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)
SCHEDULE WEDNESDAY 25th JANUARY 2023 (Irish time)
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.