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Argentina at the Winter Olympics: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By | [email protected] | February 19, 2018 12:45pm

Nicol Gastaldi narrowly missed a gate in her regular slalom (Via: AFP / Francois Xavier Marit)
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We’ll admit it: our 2018 Winter Olympic coverage has been lacking, because well, Argentina doesn’t have much of a presence at the Winter Olympics. The Argentine delegation is only seven people strong, but one of them unfortunately managed to make headlines by suffering a major injury on the slopes yesterday.

Men’s alpine skier Sebastiano Gastaldi fell during Sunday’s men’s giant slalom competition, tearing a ligament in his knee, according to the Argentine Federation for Skiing and Climbing (FASA).

The fall earned Gastaldi a “Did Not Finish” (DNF) in the giant slalom contest, and because he won’t be competing in Thursday’s regular slalom, he’ll get a DNF there as well.

Sebastiano’s sister Nicol Gastaldi is also an Olympian – she’s Argentina’s sole representative for women’s alpine skiing. Sadly, she also earned herself a DNF at the women’s slalom, although for a less drastic reason: she missed one of the gates and was therefore disqualified from the rankings.

Nicol Gastaldi narrowly missed a gate in her regular slalom (Via: AFP / Francois Xavier Marit)

Nicol Gastaldi narrowly missed a gate in her regular slalom (Photo via AFP / Francois Xavier Marit)

 

While the Gastaldi siblings had some rough runs, there’s more to the Olympics to call Argentina’s interest than that. Here’s a synopsis of the rest of the Argentine Olympians’ achievements (in tweets, of course – Millennial and proud).

Matias Zuloaga: Men’s Cross-Country Skiing

While Zuloaga earned 100th place in the snow, he was first in our (Latin American) hearts!

Ranking 100 out of 116 in the men’s 15km cross-country freestyle, Zuloaga didn’t exactly win. But he (and the Argentina Olympic committee) were quite thrilled that he earned the top ranking out of every Latin American (he beat out Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico):

María Cecilia Domínguez: Women’s Cross-Country Skiing

Domínguez ranked 87th out of the 89 women in the 10km cross country freestyle, but she still did her country proud. She’s the first Argentine woman to even qualify for cross-country skiing in the Olympic games, so being there is already huge.

Veronica María Ravenna: Women’s Luge

19-year-old Ravenna is the youngest member of Argentina’s Olympic delegation, and she consistently ranked in the mid-20’s (of 30) for the luge competition, and ended up in 23rd place.

Matías Schmitt: Men’s Snowboarding Freestyle

Schmitt ranked 24 of of 37 in men’s slopestyle snowboarding. In my opinion, snowboarding is the most fun to watch, so here’s a video of his training for your enjoyment:

Steven Williams: Men’s Snowboarding Cross

Rounding out the Olympic team is Steven Williams, also a snowboarder, who ranked 30th in his competition.

While the Argentina team hasn’t won any medals, its presence at the Winter Olympics is historically important. Argentina was the first Latin American country to ever send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in 1928, and while we’ve seen an increase in Latin American athletes since then, none have ever won medals.

Maybe Argentina will keep trailblazing and win the first medals for the region, too!