Buenos Aires Times

sports Winter Olympics 2018

Meet the Argentines at the Olympics

Though the country may not be exactly synonymous with wintry success, this intrepid group of sportspeople is looking to do the blue and white proud.

Wednesday 14 February, 2018
The Argentine team for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea walks out during the opening ceremony on February 9.
The Argentine team for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea walks out during the opening ceremony on February 9. Foto:AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

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Five days into 2018’s rendition of one of the world’s premier sporting events, the Olympics Games, you might be wondering: Where are the Argentines? Or perhaps you assumed Argentina wasn’t participating, as a country with a meager legacy of winter weather competition.

The reality is a bit of both. Argentina has never won a medal at the Winter Olympic Games, but seven athletes are competing under the white and blue this month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

That’s barely a quarter of a percent of all athletes competing (over 2,900) from over 90 countries and far behind powerhouse nations like the United States (242), Canada (226), Italy (122), France (107) and Austria (105).

But it is ahead of the curve when it comes to the region. Brazil leads the way with nine athletes, followed by Argentina and Chile with seven, then Colombia and México (4), Bolivia (2) and finally Ecuador and Puerto Rico, each with a lone athlete.

A brief summary of the Argentine Olympic athletes are as follows:


Steven Williams
Event(s): Men’s Snowboard Cross

Age: 30

Where they're at: His first event is on Feb. 15, a seeding run

His family is Welsh Argentine—his father was born in Trevelin, Argentina, the country’s largest Welsh community.


Nicol Gastaldi
Event(s): Ladies’ Giant Slalom, Ladies’ Slalom

Age: 27

Where they're at: Her first even is on Feb. 15, her first run in the giant slalom

She was born in Italy to Italian and Argentine parents and is now a ski instructor in Bariloche. Sebastiano is her brother.


Sebastiano Gastaldi
Event(s): Men’s Alpine Skiing

Age: 26

Where they're at: Schedule unavailable

A similar backstory to his sister, Nicol, although her previous Olympic appearance was in Vancouver in 2010, and his in Sochi in 2014.


María Cecilia Domínguez
Age: 36

Event(s): Ladies’ 10km Free (cross-country skiing)

Where they're at: On Feb. 15 is her one and only race, a medal event.

Her first Olympics, though she is a seven-time South American biathlon champion. Her husband has also represented Argentina as a skier.


Matías Zuloaga

Age: 20

Event(s): Men’s Cross-Country Skiing

Where they're at: No schedule available

He’s more of Patagonia than of Bariloche: He was 2017 cross-country skier of the year in Tierra del Fuego and trains at Club Andino Ushuaia.


Verónica María Ravenna

Age: 19

Event(s): Women’s Singles (luge)

Where they're at: No schedule available

She was born in Buenos Aires but grew up in Vancouver, Canada. After an injury prevented her from making the Canadian national luge team, the Argentine equivalent offered her a spot.


Matías Schmitt

Age: 26

Event(s): Men’s Slopestyle (snowboarding)

Where they're at: Already completed two qualifying heats on Feb. 10, future schedule unavailable

He was on the waiting list to be an athlete at the Games until two days before the opening ceremony—Swedish athlete dropped out and he was next in line.

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