With a Top 20 Finish in St. Moritz, Ander Mirambell Qualifies for Third Winter Olympics
JAN. 12, 2018
ST. MORITZ, Switzerland — The Spanish skeleton racer, Ander Mirambell, sealed his bid for a third consecutive Olympics appearance following a 19th place finish at Friday’s World Cup race in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
After finishing the first run in 1:08.86 — guaranteeing him not only a Top 20 finish and a second run, but also mathematically clinching his spot at the Olympics — the 34-year-old Mirambell popped up from his sled and unfolded a banner, given to him as a surprise gift from his family and friends, that read: ‘MeANDERing to the Olympics.’
“I was so emotional that I couldn’t even hold it up straight,” Mirambell said after the race. “I want to thank everyone involved. I still can’t believe we’re headed to the Olympics for a third time. I need some time to let it sink in.”
Mirambell’s imminent participation at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea follows his previous two Olympic appearances at the 2010 Games in Vancouver and the 2014 Games in Sochi.
Mirambell, who is a pioneer of sorts as the first Spaniard to ever compete in Olympic skeleton, was the 27th racer to slide down the track on the first run at the St. Moritz-Celerina Olympic Bobrun — the longest, oldest track in the world, which is rebuilt by hand each season and is naturally refrigerated by the cold, winter temperatures deep in the Swiss Alps.
He was the first to take the second run, however, and his time of 1:08.80 — six hundredths of a second faster than his first run — bumped him up from 20th place into 19th on the day.
“It was excellent!,” he said. “We beat out countries like Switzerland, Austria, and Canada, which have far more resources.”
Following St. Moritz — the seventh of eight stops on the World Cup circuit — Mirambell is now ranked 20th in the World Cup standings but, more importantly, he is third among the eight racers who represent countries that may send a single racer to the Olympics.