Shannon-Ogbnai Abeda was born on May 15, 1996 in Calgary , province of Alberta, Canada . From an early age, Abeda showed his love for skiing in a country where this sport enjoys great popularity and tradition.
The war of independence of Eritrea (former Italian colony) that lasted about thirty years forced many of the inhabitants of this territory in East Africa to change their residence and move to other countries. This is the case of Ariam and Walday, the parents of Abeda who settled in Canada.
Abeda has never hidden her roots, and although she has not visited Eritrea, in 2011 she made the decision to represent her parents' homeland, which filled her family with pride . "I was very touched by the responsibility and support I received, especially from the Eritrean-Canadian community, they admire me and I never imagined myself in this situation," the young skier told Canadian media CBC recently.
Shortly after deciding on Eritrea, Abeda , aged 16, participated in the Youth Olympic Games held in Innsbruck (Austria) in 2012 , and failed to qualify for the 2014 Sochi Winter Games in what would have been the first participation of Eritrea in an event of this kind.
Yes now. After overcoming a knee injury that put his dream on the line, Abeda will be, after getting the classification for the slalom and big slalom races, in Pyeongchang proud to wear the colors of the African country and being the only one, the first representative and both flag bearer from Eritrea.
After gaining independence in 1991, Eritrea, which usually participates in the summer Olympic Games in cycling and athletics events, made its Olympic debut in the year 2000, achieving a single medal to date . The conquered by the runner Zersenay Tadese in Athens 2004.
Abeda is aware that he has few options to play metal in Pyeongchang, but in South Korea he will be able to fulfill his Olympic dream and that of the almost five million Eritrean inhabitants.
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Shannon-Ogbani Abeda is a Canadian-born skier, but will be flying the flag ...
Shannon-Ogbani Abeda is a Canadian-born skier, but will be flying the flag for Eritrea at next month's Winte...