This past week Bosnia and Herzegovina was the host to the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival where two young Irish Skiing Teammates Elle Murphy and Matt Ryan took part in the Giant Slalom.
Both teens born in the United States grew up with south Dublin parents, with Elle’s dad coming from Leopardstown and Matt’s dad from Ballinteer.
Both families moved to the USA in 1994.
Elle Murphy (17) competed in The Girls Giant slalom this past week and finished 40th with a time of 2.28.1, she was 11.8 seconds off the winner.
Matt Ryan (16) competed in The Boys Giant Slalom and was 51st in his race when he was disqualified in his second run when he fell in the closing metres of the second last gate.
The competition was held between the 9th to 16th February in Sarajevo, Capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Although Matt did not do as well as he would have liked, he was still happy with how he got on during his time in Bosnia saying: “It’s not my best first run, so I was running a little bit later down, and then I came down and fell on my second last gate here, but it’s alright.”
Elle’s dad Ken told Dublin Gazette about his daughter’s sacrifices and how she’s getting on he said:
“Obviously I was so proud of her, I don’t think I will ever forget her carrying the flag into the opening ceremony.
“She has sacrificed so much as a teenager to compete at this elite level. She attends school online, so she has the flexibility to train and travel and thus does not have the same daily social interactions that most 17-year-old girls have”. Ken added:
“Elle has a bubbly personality with a contagious laugh and very positive outlook on life to see her interact with athletes from around the world and develop friendships is so cool.”
Elle’s grandparents from Leopardstown JJ (73) and Anne Murphy (72) proudly went over to Sarajevo to support their granddaughter during her race.
Elle said: “They were such troopers standing out there in the blowing snow, but I don’t think they would have missed this for anything.”
Elle’s grandmother Anne also told Dublin Gazette: “It was such an emotional fantastic experience, the proud grandparents in Sarajevo to see our granddaughter Elle ski in the junior Olympics”.