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Skier Ashley Ongong’a makes history after qualifying for Winter Youth Olympics


Kenya’s Ashley Tshanda Ongong’a is set to become the first African and Kenya skier to participate in Youth Olympuics after sealing her place in the 2024 games.

Channel 1

The 2024 Youth Olympic Winter Games is scheduled January 19th-February 1st 2024 in Gangwon,South Korea.

The 16-year-old qualified based on her International Ski Federation (FIS) ranking of the women’s Youth Olympic Games quota allocation lists as of 18 December 2023.

Ashley Tshanda was born in Italy and holds dual Kenyan and Italian citizenship.



She is guided by some of the best ski coaches in Italy, where she attends a sports school, Bachmann Sport College -Tarvisio, under coach Francesco Silverio. It is here that she has horned her skiing skills and achieved notable successes at various competitions.

‘‘My Olympic dream began when I was 6 years , I always wanted to go to the Olympic Games and represent Kenya,I feel Kenya in my heart’’ said Ashley.

‘’I always watch videos of those athletes doing well in cross country skiing, which motivates me to be just like that’’, added Ashley.

Ashley’s dad who emigrated to Italy when he was 21 where he went to study before settling there,says Ashley started skiing at a tender age and supported her fledgling career.

‘’We noticed that Ashley had passion for skiing and she kept on pulling us towards that direction,we did not know what to do, because personally I do not like snow but she loved snow.so when we realized she was keen on pursuing her dream we enrolled her in a local skiing club wher she trained daily until she cleared elementary school and when she went to high school she made a choice to join a sports college that was far from our home in Rome and she left home when she was only 14 and went to stay a place called Tarvisio on the border of Italy, Slovenia and Austria where she spends most of her time there and trains Skiing’’ narrated Steve Ogongo .

‘’We are very proud of her decision to choose Kenya when she was young she yearned to represent the country, and this is what’s happening and we feel happy for her it’s like she is living her dream and the best thing we can do is just to encourage her and give her the support she needs’’ added Ogongo

NOC-K acting as the National Ski Federation, played a pivotal role in Ashley’s journey. Following a recommendation by NOC-K, Ashley, along with Issa Laborde, an Alpine Skier, this year underwent an intensive 14-day training camp in South Korea under the PyeongChang 2018 Legacy Foundation.


Ashley Ongon’ga and her dad Steve Ogongo

NOC-K has also given financial and administrative support to participate in FIS races to get ranking points that earned her a qualification place.

Secretary General Francis Mutuku emphasized NOC-K’s unwavering commitment to supporting athletes abroad, “We find great inspiration in witnessing athletes residing abroad who are eager to proudly hoist the Kenyan flag. Their enthusiasm underscores our collective passion for representation, highlighting the significance our national colors hold for them.”


Ashley Ongong’a and NOC-K Secretary General Francis Mutuku.

Ashley’s achievements include multiple victories in cross-country ski titles, regional and national championships, and notable participation in international ski competitions.


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