For First Time Ever, Hungarian Snowboarder Qualifies for Winter Olympics
Kamilla Kozuback has become the first ever Hungarian snowboarder to qualify for the Winter Olympics. The 17-year-old half-Canadian, half-Hungarian athlete will hit the slopes in the half-pipe in Beijing.
In snowboard, quotas were allocated according to the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) ranking on January 17. And thanks to her 24th place at the Laax Open, Kozuback secured her ticket to Beijing.
Born in Calgary to a Canadian father and Hungarian mother, Kozuback is a dual citizen, who reportedly spent summers in Hungary with her grandparents.
She started competing at the age of 11, and at the 2020 Youth Olympics she was still competing in Canadian colors. Reportedly, it was Kozuback herself who requested she continue her adult career in Hungarian colors. “I was thinking that if I competed in Hungarian colors, it would be a gesture to show them my love,” she once said.
The transfer, however also meant that she had to miss official competitions for one year, and could only return last December, certainly leaving her a limited time to secure a quota.The Nagano Games in 1998 were the first games with snowboarding on the program. Ever since then, no Hungarian has ever been able to gain qualification. A male snowboarder was also in the running for a chance to compete in the Chinese capital, but Botond Fricz was unable to bag enough points due to injury and his coronavirus infection.
At the moment, Hungarians have 14 quotas in five sports for the upcoming Winter Olympics: alpine skiing (2), cross-country skiing (2), figure skating (2), short track speed skating (7) and snowboarding (1).
Featured image via Instagram