Chilean skier to march in closing ceremony; country’s 2 other Olympians have already left

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Quake spares family, friends of Chilean athletes

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — An Olympic skier from Chile will participate in the closing ceremony after learning her family and friends were safe following the massive earthquake in her country.

Noelle Barahona of Santiago had planned to return home Saturday but could not get a flight. She will remain in the athletes’ village instead, her team said Saturday.

Barahona, who is from Santiago, competed in five Alpine events, her best finish 28th in the super-combined.

Chile brought three athletes to the games, all Alpine skiers. The two others skiers had already left Vancouver before the quake struck — Maui Gayme for France, Jorge Mandru for Seattle.

The delegation still in Vancouver includes a team spokesman, coach and physical therapist. They planned to be part of Sunday’s ceremony.

“As of now, all the members of the team have heard from their families and their friends,” spokesman Luis Alberto Santa Cruz said. “They are well in Chile. That is the information we have so far.

“Of course, there is all the shock of the earthquake, and there is sadness because of the people who died.”

will not be displayed