Irish Winter Olympics – Florence Bell fails to compete course

Updated 11am Tuesday

Florence Bell failed to complete the course in extremely difficult conditions this morning after an error on gate 12 put an end to Bell’s hopes from a start bib of 75. This lead to bell not being able to complete the second run.


 Giant Slalom.

Competition started at Sochi time. Bell arrived in Sochi following selection in late January. Her sister Victoria (rival for a place in Sochi) will be close by to support her.

Bell has been training under the supervision of world class coach Alain Untergassmair since her arrival in the Olympic Mountain Village, mainly 2 hour sessions each morning from 9.30-11.30am on the Rosa Khutor Alpine Resort . 

It is a single venue and will host all Alpine Skiing disciplines: Downhill, Combined (downhill and slalom), Giant Slalom and the Super Giant Slalom. The total length of the competition tracks is 20 km.

All slopes were developed by Bernard Russi, a world-renowned ski architect from the International Ski Federation (FIS). Sochi will have an excellent selection of world-class tracks for athletes from around the world to train and compete on.

“Rosa Khutor” is a unique alpine resort located in the Krasnaya Polyana district. The name originates from the geographical name “Rosa Khutor”, covering approximately 1,820 ha of Aibga Ridge slopes rising above the Mzymta River. The alpine resort is already a major alpine skiing center in the Northern Caucasus region and has played host to several major international competitions. 

In the giant slalom, the gates are placed farther apart than in the slalom, but not as far apart as in the super-G. Men’s races have 56 to 70 gates, while ladies’ have 46 to 58. The result is the sum of the skier’s times on two different courses. 


Reinforced plastic boots are specific to the competition discipline. Bindings are the link between the boots and the skis. Gloves are made of leather or synthetic material

Special plastic boots. Bindings secure the skier’s feet to the skis. Alpine skiing gloves are made of leather or synthetic material.

Ski goggles protect the eyes against wind, snow, increased UV radiation at high elevations, and glare from the snow.

The helmet protects the athlete from injury and should fit the head tightly.

Ski poles for the downhill and super-giant are curved, allowing reduced air resistance during descent.

Skis are made of various materials (wood or composite fibres) and are individually crafted for each athlete. Downhill skis are 30% longer than those used in the slalom. This allows for additional accuracy at high speeds.

Skin-tight racing suits are made of materials that minimize air resistance.


O.C.I Profile:

“Florence (Flo) is almost 18 and was born in Birmingham. She comes from a Northern Ireland family and took up ski racing at age 12.Within six months she became Yorkshire, Scottish and British Indoor Champion and was then crowned European Indoor Champion.At 13 she commenced outdoor training and joined the British Ski Academy based in France. In 2009 she was selected for the British Children’s Ski Team and represented Great Britain in races in Europe and New Zealand. Florence then joined her sister Victoria in declaring for Ireland and has continued to race for Ireland in premier events in Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Japan in the build-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics. She represented Ireland at the first ever World Youth Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria in 2012 and at the 2013 European Youth Winter Olympics in Romania”.


On her being selected to represent Ireland in Sochi 2014, in an exclusive interview with SportsNewsIreland, Florence looked forward to the Games 

“I am so excited to have been chosen to ski for Ireland at the Olympic Games.  It is such a privilege and it really is a dream come true.  I’m pinching myself, actually.  I was selected for the inaugural Youth Olympics in Innsbruck in 2012 and that was amazing, so I can only imagine what it will be like to actually ski at the main Olympics alongside all the most famous athletes in my sport.

However, I am very sorry for my sister (Veronica) because she has worked at least as hard as me but there is only one place so we couldn’t both go.  I know that she will be there, in Sochi, waving the flag and cheering loudly for me, alongside my parents.  I hope that I can put in a good performance in both Slalom and Giant Slalom and that I make Ireland proud; I can promise that I will be trying my best.”


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