Thailand's quartet braced for action in Pyeongchang

Thailand's quartet braced for action in Pyeongchang

From right, back row, skiers Mark and Karen Chanloung, IOC member Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul and Prince Albert II of Monaco outside the Athletes' Village on Thursday.
From right, back row, skiers Mark and Karen Chanloung, IOC member Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul and Prince Albert II of Monaco outside the Athletes' Village on Thursday.

The four Thai athletes are ready for the 2018 Winter Olympics that begin on Friday in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

However, Thai officials admit that it will be a mission impossible for the quartet to win any medal. The four are siblings Mark and Karen Chanloung in cross-country skiing, and Nicola Zanon and Alexia Schenkel in Alpine skiing.

Mark, Karen and Nicola are Thais of Italian blood, while Alexia is a Swiss-Thai.

With four representatives at the Pyeongchang Games, it is Thailand's biggest contingent in a Winter Olympics.

"Our athletes at the Pyeongchang Games are strong and ready to compete for our country," Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, a member of the International Olympic Committee, said in Pyeongchang yesterday.

"I can say they have gone through extensive training, coaching and preparation for the Games, and have a positive attitude."

She added that there are a large number of fine athletes in the Games, making it very difficult for the Thais to claim a medal.

"Naturally, our athletes will have trouble reaching the podium. But you can compete to the best of your ability for your country with pride. I am confident that our athletes will give their all."

Karen will be the first Thai in action in Pyeongchang when she competes tomorrow.

Since the nation's debut at the Winter Games in 2002, Thai athletes have appeared in every edition except the 2010 tournament in Vancouver.

At the 2014 Games in Sochi, there were two Thai athletes -- Kanes Sucharitakul and violinist Vanessa Mae, who competed as Vanessa Vanakorn, using her Thai father's surname.

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