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24th Jan 2022

Meet the 6 athletes representing Ireland at the Winter Olympics

Katy Brennan

The Winter Olympics will take place in February.

Team Ireland has confirmed that six athletes are set to represent the country at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing next month.

The team consists of Tess Arbez, Jack Gower, Thomas Maloney Westgaard, Brendan ‘Bubba’ Newby, Elsa Desmond, and Seamus O’Connor.

O’Connor is the most experienced of the group and will become the first Irish athlete to compete in three Winter Olympic Games. Meanwhile, Gower and Desmond are first-time Olympians.

The Team Ireland athletes are currently staying at a camp in Innsbruck, where they can train in a controlled and safe environment in the lead up to the games.

The games run from Friday 4 February and continue until Sunday 20 February.

Tess Arbez (alpine skiing)

Arbez has roots in Dublin and Carlow and has previously competed in the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics. She will compete in the giant slalom, slalom and Super G events.

Jack Gower (alpine skiing)

27-year-old Gower switched from Great Britain to represent Ireland last year. His paternal grandmother was born in Dublin and settled in Skibbereen. This will be his first Olympic Games and he will also compete in the downhill, giant slalom, and Super G events.

Thomas Maloney Westgaard (cross country skiing)

Beijing marks Westgaard’s second time taking part in the Olympics, where he will compete in the 15km, 30km and 50km event. He was born to a Galway mother and Norwegian father.

Brendan “Bubba” Newby (freestyle skiing)

Born in Cork to American parents, Newby grew up in Utah city. He previously competed in the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympics – a lifelong dream of his since first watching the Olympics in Salt Lake City as a child.

Ella Desmond (luge)

This will be the first time ever that Ireland has a luge athlete in the Olympics. Desmond is also a qualified doctor and set up the Irish Luge Foundation. She has a grandmother is from Ballyjamesduff, Cavan, and a grandfather from Cork.

Seamus O’Connor (snowboard halfpipe)

O’Connor is just 24 years old but he is already a two-time Olympian. He was raised in California and has grandparents from Drogheda and Dublin. At the Winter Olympics 2014, he became Ireland’s first Olympic snowboarder at the age of 16, as well as the youngest snowboard competitor.