Ana Noelle Wahleithner scored a career breakthrough when she became the first Filipina to qualify for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Wahleithner, 16, the youngest of two children by Lady Angela Reynado Wahleithner and James K. Wahleithner, amassed points in various International Federation of Skiing (FIS) sanctioned races this year. She is both a Philippine and American citizen.
The FIS is the sport's world governing body.
In an exclusive interview, Angela Wahleithner provided a brief timeline of how her daughter qualified for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics, which will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland, in January.
"When she turned 15-and-a-half in 2018, she became an athlete registered under the Philippines with an FIS license. She became the youngest female alpine skier to represent the country and the license allows Ana to race in international competitions," said Angela Wahleithner, who hails from Davao City.
Ana's first international alpine skiing competition was in Cardrona, New Zealand, in July 2018 that paved the way for her to represent the Philippines at the 2019 Alpine Skiing Junior World Championship (JWC) back in February in Val Di Fassa, Italy.
"Ana was the first Philippine female alpine skier to successfully finish this competition. Participating in and finishing the JWC competition in February qualified her to race in the 2020 Winter YOG. The POC (Philippine Olympic Committee) was notified by the FIS that the Philippines had a female alpine skiing slot in June 2019. The POC confirmed that the spot is allocated to Ana last October 5," Wahleithner revealed.
The proud mother acknowledged that the chance to become the first Filipina to represent the Philippines was added motivation for Anna.
"Having a goal to represent the Philippines in an international winter sports event is an honor," said the proud mother, who added that Ana also tried other sports such as gymnastics, indoor soccer, and snowboarding.
In preparation for the 2020 Youth Olympics, Ana continuously trains year-round on and off the snow. She will be training with the Sugar Bowl Academy Team in Saas Fe, Switzerland, this month. In November, she will be training in Vail, Colorado.
She will be participating in alpine ski races through this entire 2019-2020 season including races after the Youth Olympics.
"Ana exceeded our expectations, and our entire family is very proud of her," ended the proud mom.
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